HIGHLIGHTS: Forge FC vs. Cavalry FC (Leg 2, Oct. 23, 2022)
Forge FC are headed to a fourth straight Canadian Premier League final after beating Cavalry FC 2-1 (3-2 on aggregate) in semifinals. They advance to an all-Ontario final, which will be played in the nation’s capital against regular season champions Atlético Ottawa on Saturday, October 29.
The dramatic match saw both sides finish with 10 men a piece, as Forge FC captain Kyle Bekker (straight red) and Cavalry’s David Norman Jr. (two yellow cards) were both sent off in the opening half.
Woobens Pacius scored the match winner from the spot, while David Chionière also scored for the hosts. Myer Bevan had the goal for the visitors.
Forge started the game on the front foot, earning a free-kick in a good area just outside the Cavalry box in the tenth minute. Tristan Borges’ low effort forced a good stop from Marco Carducci. Aboubacar Sissoko followed that up with an effort of his own, but his shot went wide.
Forge earned another free kick at the top right hand corner of the Cavalry box in the 26th minute, as Norman Jr. brought down Choinière and was subsequently given the match’s first yellow card. Borges curling effort, however, was easily stopped by Carducci.
The visitors came close in the 30th minute, as Ali Musse ventured forward down the right flank and sent a curling shot just wide of the opposite top corner.
Sissoko came close again a minute later, latching onto a bouncing ball in the Cavalry box, but his effort was blocked before it could test Carducci in goal. Three moments later it was Bekker who was set up nicely by Choinière at the top of the Cavalry box, but sent his shot just wide. He had another effort from distance in the 40th minute, but it was again well-blocked by the Cavalry backline.
The matches story took a big turn in the 43rd minute however, when Bekker was sent off for a challenge on Adekugbe. It was the third sending off between these two sides at Tim Hortons Field. It was quickly followed up by a fourth as Cavalry’s Norman Jr. was sent off for his second yellow card, reducing both sides to ten men. The half ended with no goals between the two sides, but 19 combined fouls.
The two sides started the second half cautiously, trying to figure out how one another would shift with one fewer player. The first real chance of the half came in the 55th minute, with Sissoko hitting a long strike that forced a solid save out of Carducci.
Forge FC finally found the breakthrough in the 69th minute. Alessandro Hojabrpour played through Choinière down the right flank, who’s low driven shot across goal beat Carducci.
Cavalry’s misery was doubled in the 75th minute, when Borges beat his defender down the flank with a clever nutmeg and was brought down inside the box. Pacius stepped up to the spot, and scored his second goal of the playoffs with the kick that just eluded the finger tips of Carducci.
There was to be another twist, however, as three minutes later Bevan cut the league in half after a great low cross from José Escalante.
Forge FC quickly shifted into a defensive shell, bringing on central defenders Dominic Samuel, Garven Metusala and Malik Owolabi-Belewu to see out the match. It worked well, as they allowed limited other chances over the final 15 minutes of the match.
Cavalry are still yet to win a playoff match, and will have plenty of questions to ask internally as yet another season ends just short.
69′ — David Choinière (Forge FC)
74′ — Woobens Pacius (Forge FC) (Penalty)
78′ — Myer Bevan (Cavalry FC)
25′ — Yellow: David Norman (Cavalry FC)
43′ — Red: Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
45′ — Yellow + Red: David Norman (Cavalry FC)
79′ — Yellow: Rezart Rama (Forge FC)
81′ — Yellow: Myer Bevan (Cavalry FC)