Cavalry 3-0 Forge: Cavs Dominate, Earn Deserved Win
In what was a complete performance at home from Cavalry, the Albertans top visiting Forge FC 3-0 at Spruce Meadows on Friday.
The Cavs come off a disappointing 1-0 reverse against Atlético Ottawa last weekend in the nation’s capital. That saw coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr make three changes to the starting eleven, among which was former Valour man William Akio, who started for Cavalry for the first time.
As for Forge, they won against expansion side Vancouver FC last Friday night and went to Spruce Meadows on a three-game unbeaten run. The Hammers also made three changes to their starting eleven, one of which was forced due to Kwasi Poku’s injury.
Much of the opening half was played in the Forge half of the field, as the hosts often looked more dangerous. It caused some defensive mishaps from the Hammers, as Manjrekar James played a terrible back pass to his keeper Triston Henry. Fortunately for the center back, Henry was able to get back into position in time to avoid a howler.
Goteh Ntignee was the bright spot for the Cavs, frequently testing Rezart Rama on the left wing. The Nigerian-born attacker also went into the middle on some occasions, forcing Forge to adjust throughout the park.
The guests did not get going until the half hour mark. The visitors were able to make several attempts on the Cavalry goal. In the end, none of them really troubled Marco Carducci. Forge’s best moment came via a Rama pass to Terran Campbell. The latter could not get a shot in, as Shamit Shome got in the way of a shot.
The best chance of the first half came on the last play when Ali Musse whipped a dangerous corner for the hosts, with Charlie Trafford getting his head on the ball. Henry needed to make himself big to deny the Cavalry midfielder.
Just moments into the second half, Cavalry went in front. A well-worked free kick routine saw Musse tap the ball to Sergio Camargo, who in turn played in Ntignee. The winger played it across to Eryk Kobza – who just signed a new multi-year deal – and he found the back of the net.
Just before the hour, Forge had a chance off a corner. Tristan Borges played a dangerous ball into the box that was not fully cleared. It ultimately fell to Alessandro Hojabrpour, but the midfielder could not keep his shot down.
Forge would rue the missed opportunity, as the Cavs doubled their lead on the very next play. Jesse Daley did well to flick the ball over to Akio, who beat several Forge defenders while cutting into the box. His shot had enough power to beat Henry, who did get a hand on the shot but couldn’t keep out Akio’s first hometown goal.
The hosts added a third with ten minutes to go. Ntingee was fouled by Hojabrpour in the box, with the referee calling a penalty. Aird was denied by Henry initially, but the Forge shot stopper came off his line early. On the retake, Aird again stepped up, but this time made no mistake. Henry got a piece of the spot kick, but not enough to keep it out.
Forge struggled to create much throughout the match, but especially in the second half. Perhaps their best effort came from Campbell, who was played in by substitute and Forge debutant Beni Badibanga. Campbell’s attempt was thwarted by Carducci.
In stoppage time, Bekker whipped in a dangerous corner that found the head of substitute Khadim Kane, but the CF Montreal youth academy product nodded the ball just the wrong side of Carducci’s goal.
The match ended 3-0, with the Cavs entering the weekend atop the Canadian Premier League standings. They make the trip to Winnipeg next, where they will battle a struggling Valour side.
Forge’s three-game unbeaten run ends at Spruce Meadows, so the Hammers fall to third in the table on 29 points. They will return home for a clash with 905 Derby rivals York United next Saturday.
Header Image Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League