Cavalry FC Advance To Third Round Of Canadian Championship
The Canadian Premier League’s best naturally-developed rivalry in Cavalry FC and Forge FC continued with the pair’s second leg Canadian Championship matchup tonight, and it was Cavalry FC who ultimately triumphed over their Hamilton-based rivals.
This means that Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s side become the first Canadian Premier League club to advance far enough in the competition to secure a place against Major League Soccer opposition: the club will play at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 10, with an away trip to BC Place set for July 24.
Cavalry FC may have finished last week strong after a 1-1 draw gave the club an away goal advantage, but it was Forge FC who started strong at Spruce Meadows. Team Captain Kyle Bekker led the way with a smartly-placed finish finding the back of the net in the 13th minute, with Kwame Awuah nearly doubling the lead minutes later.
Cavalry FC made plenty of unforced errors as the first half wore on, and that’s something the squad will need to work on if they’re to survive the next round against the Whitecaps.
One of Cavalry’s few first-half chances came from former Congolese international Dominique Malonga, who had scored a last-gasp penalty against Forge FC a week prior. This time around, he struck a fantastic effort from some way out, forcing a good save from Triston Henry. With Quillan Roberts away on Gold Cup duty for Guyana, Forge FC had announced the signing of Baj Maan as a backup goalkeeper just hours before tonight’s match. He went unused on the bench.
As half-time beckoned, Cavalry made good it’s other good chance of the half. Jose Escalante sent in a cross that was headed home by Malonga, and it seemed to take the wind out of Forge’s proverbial sails.
After dominating the first-half, Forge FC started slowly in the second as Cavalry FC took its turn to apply the pressure. A slick pass from Pasquotti in the 58th was tipped in by former TFC2 product Sergio Camargo, and that ultimately turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Still, there was the potential for some late-game drama once again: Forge FC substitute Klaidi Cela went down in the box as the clock struck 95 minutes. Trafford’s tackle had come in clean, and it looked like Cela was looking for the foul. The referee – who had a close view of the action – immediately called a goal kick. Ultimately, Cela was lucky not to get a yellow for simulation.
Cavalry FC held on to the rest of the match to secure a 2-1 win at home, and a 3-2 win on aggregate. Both sides finished with an even split for possession and nine shots apiece, but it was Cavalry who took more of their chances. As a reward, they get a chance to make Voyageurs Cup history.
Though there were a handful of yellow cards dished out throughout the match, the second leg concluded without a full-on team brawl or any allegations of racist behavior. After that occurrence last week, the Canadian Premier League announced that an official investigation was underway.
Canadian Championship action will continue with a double-header on June 12 when Valour FC host Halifax Wanderers and FC Edmonton host York9 FC. The Wanderers enter this away leg with a 2-1 aggregate advantage, while the Nine Stripes travel to Edmonton with a hefty 3-1 advantage.
If tonight’s match between Cavalry FC and Forge FC is any indication, though, scorelines can change quickly. It should be a good night of Voyageurs Cup action to close out the second round of the domestic trophy.