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Forge FC Noah Jensen

League1 Ontario / CPL Double-Header: Forge on Top, Hamilton United Falters

By on April 28, 2024 0 717 Views

Saturday saw the first League1 Ontario and Canadian Premier League double-header of the season, as Forge took on Valour and Hamilton United Elite faced off against Guelph United afterwards.

The games produced contrasting results for the Hamilton-based sides, with one winning and the other losing. Here is a look back on the day’s action.

Forge 2-1 Valour: Jensen Keeps Hammers Perfect

Forge left it late at home to Valour, but in the end the defending CPL playoff winners prevailed 2-1 at the expense of the Winnipeggers.

Having entered with two wins from two, including a 3-0 success in the 905 Derby last time out, Forge commenced the game with the same starting eleven as the first two outings. Given their impressive performance the previous weekend, that came as little surprise.

Valour, on the other hand, lost their opening two outings. That included a 2-0 reverse to Pacific nine days prior. As such, there were two changes to their starting eleven: Shaan Hundal and Roberto Alarcon made way for Jordan Faria and Zachary Sukunda.

The Hammers nearly got an early goal after Terran Campbell stripped defender Abdou Samake of the ball. David Choiniere ran into the ball, but his shot failed to hit the target.

The first half did not have many opportunities, with the ball having a quick bounce due to the rain that happened shortly before kickoff.

Forge had another chance close to halftime though. A whiffed shot from Choiniere fell to Daniel Parra, whose shot was saved by Jonathan Viscosi.

Valour’s best chance of the half came moments later, as a cross from Sukunda was met by Binate. The latter’s acrobatic effort forced an excellent save by Christopher Kalongo, who tipped it over the bar.

See Also: Kalongo Relishing His Opportunity To Impress As Forge Starter

The hosts took the lead at the hour mark of the game. Parra was again involved, doing well to cut in and find Tristan Borges. The 2019 CPL Golden Boot winner shot first-time, beating Viscosi with a well-placed shot.

The visitors would not be deterred from going behind, and found their equalizer minutes later. A cross into the Forge box was not properly cleared, falling to Themi Antonoglou. The wing-back played it to an open Jordan Faria, who curled a beautiful beyond Kalongo.

With 15 minutes to play, Forge won a penalty. Parra got past Charalampos Chantzopoulos, who took down the Forge left-back. The referee immediately pointed to the spot, giving Forge a great chance to retake the lead. However, Beni Badibanga’s penalty struck the post and stayed out.

Valour then had two massive chances to go in front, in the space of a minute. An Antonoglou cross found Aussie forward Jordan Swibel, whose header forced a huge save from Kalongo. The Forge keeper was again involved on the ensuing corner as he kicked away Samake’s attempt.

With less than a minute to play in normal time, a pair of Forge substitutes broke Valour hearts. Juan Sanchez was stripped of the ball by Amadou Kone, who ran down the wing before playing in Noah Jensen. The midfielder struck the ball into the corner of the net, with Viscosi getting a hand on the ball, but being unable to keep it out.

Forge held on for the 2-1 win, going top of the table. Next for the Hammers will be on Wednesday they host York United in the Canadian Championship. The following Tuesday will be their next league match, where they host a Halifax Wanderers side who lost their home opener earlier on in the day.

As for Valour, they remain bottom of the league. They stay in Ontario for their Canadian Championship game, as they will battle Atletico Ottawa on Wednesday. The club will remain in the nation’s capital for their next league match, which will come four days later.

Hamilton United 0-1 Guelph United: Second Half Penalty Gives Guelph Three Points

Hamilton United Elite and Guelph United met in the second match at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday. Both squads opened their League1 Ontario Premier Division season in the match.

While Guelph was playing their first competitive match of the season, it was Hamilton United’s second game. The previous weekend they lost 3-1 to L1O Championship side Darby in the first round of the L1 Cup.

Guelph had a massive chance to take the lead nine minutes in. Kyle Cordeiro intercepted a careless pass, and should have scored from point-blank range – but Hamilton United’s Ethan Cagalj came back just in time to deny the Guelph captain.

Like the earlier game, this match saw very few chances in the first half. Cordeiro had another chance later on in the opening 45.

Guelph would get their goal midway through the second half. A penalty was called for a foul in the Hamilton United box. Jared Agyemang made no mistake from the spot kick, converting to give his team the lead.

While the guests held on for the win, but finished the game with one man less. Substitute Donart Beqiri picked up two yellow cards, the second one coming just before the end of normal time.

Nevertheless, Guelph picked up their first three points of the season. They will head to Vaughan next weekend to face Vaughan Azzurri.

For Hamilton United, they will look for their first win of the season next Sunday. Prostars will head to McMaster University to battle the Hamiltonians.

Header Image Photo Credit: Jojo Yanjiao Qian

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