Forge FC 1-1 Valour: Former Hammer Haunts Old Club
A wet and rainy Hamilton night played host to a 1-1 draw between Forge and Valour, with the guests the happier of the two.
After a convincing 4-0 hammering of York United last weekend, Forge made three changes to the starting eleven: two were forced, as Manjrekar James was suspended while Jordan Hamilton picked up an injury. While Garven Metusala made his return to the team following his time with Haiti at the Gold Cup.
As for Valour, they come off a 2-0 reverse to Atletico Ottawa in the capital last Sunday. Yet, coach Phil Dos Sandos made only one change to the starting eleven, with former Forge striker Anthony Novak making way for Jared Ulloa.
It was a slow opening 15 minutes, as there was little going on from an attacking standpoint. Forge started the more dominant. Their first big chance came in the 17th minute off a corner. Tristan Borges whipped a cross in, which met Noah Jensen’s head. Unfortunately for the midfielder, he nodded it just wide of Rayane Yesli’s post.
Jensen would have another chance moments later. Cutting into the box, Jensen’s shot forced a save from Yesli.
The first half saw the hosts have nine shots to Valour’s three, yet only one would be on target for each side. Skipper Diego Gutierrez’s free kick went straight at Triston Henry for the visitors.
Forge captain Kyle Bekker responded minutes before the break with a shot from distance. Yesli was well positioned to make the save, however, seeing it all the way.
Kwasi Poku had Forge’s final chance of the half. A deflected cross came to the youngster, whose header went just over the bar.
There was a moment of controversy just ten minutes into the second half. Bekker hit the post from a tight angle, with the ball going to Borges. The winger tapped it over to Terran Campbell, who converted. However, the assistant referee flagged for offside. From the replay, Campbell appeared onside, and despite the referee and his assistant having a lengthy discussion, the decision was upheld.
Campbell would not be denied, however, and ultimately found the goal 10 minutes later. David Choiniere played a long ball that fooled Valour defender Klaidi Cela. Campbell, alert to the situation, sidestepped Cela then lobbed the ball past Yesli.
Despite having the lead, Forge continued to look the more threatening team. Borges had a shot saved by Yesli after some decent buildup. That was one of the hosts’ ten shots in the second half.
With five minutes to go, Valour levelled. Kian Williams played in a corner that found Cela. The former Hammer beat Henry with his attempt, pulling his side level.
The hosts had one more chance at the death. Bekker curled in a dangerous free kick which met the head of Jensen. Yet, once again he could not find the target despite being unmarked.
The 1-1 draw saw Forge drop to third place courtesy of Cavalry’s late winner versus HFX Wanderers earlier in the day. The Hammers will travel to British Columbia for next Friday’s tilt with league leaders Pacific.
As for Valour, they remain seventh after the match on 16 points. They host York United next Saturday, as they look to get back in the CPL playoff spots.