May 20, 2024
  • May 20, 2024
CF Montreal Sebastian Breza

Forge 1-1 CF Montreal: Class In Session For Close Cup Tie

By on May 7, 2024 0 616 Views

Forge and CF Montreal played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Canadian Championship quarter-final. The result ended the Hammers’ four game winning streak to start the campaign.

Forge’s last game also came in the Canadian Championship: A 3-1 success over York United last Wednesday set up this tie, which was originally due to be a School Day league match against the HFX Wanderers before the cup match to precedence. Coach Bobby Smyrniotis opted for the same starting eleven as was seen in the prior game.

For CF Montreal, their last game was a 4-1 defeat to Nashville SC in the MLS on Saturday. Having reached the final last year, they had a bye in the Canadian Championship. Coach Laurent Courtois made six changes to the side who commenced Saturday’s match as the side deals with numerous injuries.

The first major shot on goal came three minutes from Sunusi Ibrahim, whose effort required a low save from Christopher Kalongo.

In a first half with few chances, it was Forge who got the opening goal at the half hour mark. Off the counter attack, Beni Badibanga found David Choiniere, who took his time to tee up a shot before firing it past Sebastian Breza.

Minutes later, CFM nearly leveled off a counter attack of their own. Ibrahim found Mathieu Choiniere, David’s brother, with a smart pass in the box. Mathieu’s shot was saved by Kalongo, who did well to keep the ball out.

At half-time, Montreal made four changes as they looked for a way back into the match. Among the players to come on was Bryce Duke, who would prove to be crucial in the game.

Just six minutes into the second half, Duke equalized for CFM. Having received the ball back from a one-two, Duke’s initial shot was blocked by Badibanga. Fortunately for the former, the ball fell kindly for him, as he converted on the second attempt.

After the equalizer, the teams traded stretches of possession. While they both had opportunities, they were largely half-chances. As the sun beamed on the players, it was evident that the conditions took their toll.

However, with a minute of normal time to play, Forge nearly found a winner. Kyle Bekker played a ball over the top to substitute Noah Jensen. The latter went for goal, forcing a diving stop from Breza, the ball going just past the post.

Forge FC School Day Match
A crowd of 14,923 took in the game. (Photo Credit: Forge FC)

The game ended 1-1, with both teams knowing what will be needed ahead of the return game in 15 days’ time. As away goals the rule applies in the Canadian Championship, Forge has to score in the return leg to stand a chance at advancing.

The Hammers will take on Pacific on Saturday in what will be their first out-of-province away game of the season. Something will have to give in that game, whether that be Forge’s winning run to the league season, or Pacific’s clean sheet record.

As for CF Montréal, they will host Inter Miami on Saturday. As they will have a busy month with a total of nine games, it will be a long month for the MLS side club.

Header Image Photo Credit: Casey Telford

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