July 14, 2024
  • July 14, 2024
Forge FC Kwasi Poku

Forge 2-1 Valour: Poku Gives Valour Hammer Blow

By on June 24, 2024 0 457 Views

After failing to pick up a victory in their two-game away stretch, Forge returned to winning ways on Sunday. The Hamiltonians defeated Valour 2-1 at home.

A pair of first half goals did the trick for the Hammers as they earned their fifth league win of the season.

As he has done for most of the campaign so far, Bobby Smyrniotis made very few changes to the side from last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at HFX Wanderers. Christopher Kalongo and Dominic Samuel came in for Jassem Koleilat and Malcolm Duncan for Forge.

For Valour, Phil Dos Santos also opted to make very few changes to his starting eleven. In fact, there was only one difference from last week Friday’s 3-2 reverse to Pacific, as Abdul Binate was replaced by Jordan Faria.

The first goal of the game came from Forge in the 12th minute. After a series of passes – switching the play – the ball ultimately fell to Forge’s captain Kyle Bekker. With five Valour players occupied on the Hammers’ number ten, Bekker slipped in Kwasi Poku, who made no mistake in beating Jonathan Viscosi after being kept onside by a stray Roberto Alarcon.

Forge carried much of the first half, having the majority of the ball, and, more opportunities. They ultimately ended the half with seven attempts to Valour’s three. The hosts looked like the more energized team, and it showed on the pitch.

Half an hour in, Forge doubled their advantage. Themi Antonoglou tried to pass the ball back to one of his teammates, but instead found Poku. That left the attacker one-on-one with Viscosi, who Poku chipped. The ball hit the crossbar and went in despite Charalampos Chantzopoulos’ best efforts to keep the ball out.

Minutes later, Poku nearly had his hat-trick. Bekker was again the perpetrator, as he crossed the ball in with the outside of his foot. However, before Poku could get his foot on the ball, Viscosi dove and got a crucial touch, with Antonoglou clearing the ball.

Valour would put the ball in the back of the net on the stroke of half time as Shaan Hundal got his head on Roberto Alarcon’s free kick. Unfortunately for Hundal and Valour, he was offside, with the goal being called back.

Forge came out of the break with a great opportunity less than 30 seconds in. David Choiniere broke down the right wing, finding Poku in the box. The latter was surrounded by Valour defenders, so he teed up Beni Badibanga at the edge of the box, though Badibanga’s shot was saved by Viscosi.

A few minutes later there was another chance for the home side. Poku stole the ball from Tass Mourdoukoutas, breaking away. He found Tristan Borges in the box, but the Forge winger could not keep his shot down.

Despite creating less than Forge, Valour would get a goal back 20 minutes from time. After a wonderful through ball from Chantzopoulos to Antonoglou, the latter’s shot was initially saved by Kalongo. However, substitute Binate was there to tap the rebound home.

Valour nearly levelled the match a few minutes later. The ball broke to the Winnipeggers’ captain Raphael Ohin from distance. That was where Ohin decided to have a crack, with his shot being tipped onto the bar by Kalongo.

Forge had a glorious chance with less than 10 minutes to play. Badibanga broke down the wing, getting past Mourdoukoutas, before finding substitute Nana Ampomah in the box. Remarkably, the club’s most recent addition missed from inside the six yard box, sending his shot over the bar.

It ended 2-1 to Forge, who jumped up to second spot in the league. They, like Halifax, have played one less game than the other teams. The Hamiltonians sit five points back of Atletico Ottawa, who they face next on Friday night.

As for Valour, who remains in seventh place after the defeat, they will be back in action on Thursday night, where they host York United.

Header Image Photo Credit: Jojo Yanjiao Qian

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