HIGHLIGHTS: Forge FC vs. Pacific FC (Oct. 5, 2022)
Pacific FC will find themselves in second place heading into the final weekend of matches now, as they defeated Forge FC 1-0 at Tim Hortons Field on Wednesday evening to keep themselves alive in the chase for the regular season title.
Although both sides had already clinched their playoff spots, the two managers nonetheless deployed strong lineups in hopes of securing a top-two finish and getting their players into good form heading into the semi-finals. Forge boss Bobby Smyrniotis handed a start to Jordan Hamilton up top alongside Terran Campbell — playing his 100th match in a CPL kit against his former side Pacific — and captain Kyle Bekker returned to the side after a three-match suspension.
Pacific gaffer James Merriman, meanwhile, put Jordan Brown at the front of his side, flanked by Marco Bustos and Josh Heard as Manuel Aparicio pull the attacking strings from the middle.
The visiting Tridents produced the first real chance of the game, as they won a corner kick and Aparicio’s delivery found the head of Thomas Meilleur-Giguère, but Triston Henry made an excellent diving stop to keep it scoreless. Henry was called into action several times before the 20-minute mark, including another diving save on a long-distance strike by Heard, as Pacific continued to press hard in the early stages.
Forge improved after an early stretch of sustained Pacific pressure, getting more consistently into the opposing half with the ball, though Pacific did a good job of cutting out passes and keeping the work light for goalkeeper Callum Irving as the first half went on to end 0-0.
Smyrniotis opted to make a substitution at halftime, pulling right-back Rezart Rama out of the match to bring on Dominic Samuel on the right side of defence.
Still, though, it was Pacific who found the first advantage. Just minutes after Jordan Hamilton missed a header at the top of the six-yard box, the visitors found their goal: When Forge defender Malik Owolabi-Belewu ventured into midfield with the ball, his touch was a little too heavy and Cédric Toussaint was able to step forward to win it and launch a counter. Marco Bustos picked it up in acres of space and cut in on his favoured left foot, feathering a shot toward goal that Henry spilled, allowing Brown to bury it and make it 1-0.
Forge went to the bench almost immediately after conceding at the hour mark, as Smyrniotis brought on a trio of attacking players in Emery Welshman, Woobens Pacius, and Kwasi Poku in hopes of finding an equalizer.
Although the Hammers had a few chances from set-pieces toward the end of the match, though, they ultimately couldn’t solve a well-organized Pacific defence and were left empty-handed heading into their final regular season match this coming Sunday, now sitting in third place.
60′ — Jordan Brown (Pacific FC)
11′ — Yell0w: Malik Owolabi-Belewu (Forge FC)
68′ — Yellow: Jordan Brown (Pacific FC)
82′ — Yellow: Josh Heard (Pacific FC)
85′ — Yellow: Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson (Forge FC)