Forge FC 0-0 Vancouver FC: Hammers Frustrated In Draw
In a match with very few chances, Forge will feel the more disappointed team. Despite having the majority of the ball and pushing for the goal, the Hammers will have to settle for a 0-0 draw in their first ever fixture against Vancouver FC.
As he has done for most of the season thus far, Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis made a plethora of changes to his starting 11 from last weekend’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Valour. The most significant one came in goal, where Christopher Kalongo had his first start of the season.
As for Vancouver FC, coach Afshin Ghotbi made four changes to the side who was humbled 5-0 at home to Atlético Ottawa in their previous outing. With Kadin Chung out with a broken collarbone, Marcus Simmons came in to the 11 for the former Pacific man.
The first half did not see many opportunities as Forge had the lion share of the possession. The hosts nearly found the net just three and a half minutes in. David Choinière combined with Aboubacar Sissoko to play a cross in to Woobens Pacius. Unfortunately for the striker, he could not get proper contact to put the ball in.
Pacius was again involved 25 minutes in as Kwasi Poku found the 22-year-old. This time, Pacius’ shot did find the target, but it was a shot straight at VFC keeper Callum Irving.
For large parts of the first half, the wide players for Forge found themselves in plenty of space, as VFC defended narrowly. Despite going for a 4-4-1-1 formation, the guests often saw their fullbacks and wingers tucking in.
Another good chance came for Forge moments before the break, as Choinière did well to break into the box. His cross fell to Noah Jensen, who could not keep his shot down. Although he was in acres of space, the midfielder rushed at his effort.
About 10 minutes into the second period, Forge had the ball in the back of the net. Jensen had a shot deflected, which fell to Rezart Rama. The fullback scored a spectacular acrobatic kick, leaving Irving helpless. The only problem was, the Albanian was offside.
The VFC captain was once again called into action minutes later, as he came out to get a piece on a Sissoko cross. Had Irving not come out, Pacius would have had a tap-in.
Vancouver FC, looking for their second away win of the season, had nine efforts in the game. Yet, none of them tested Kalongo, who was rarely called upon over the 90 minutes. They were outshot 13-3 in the second half, which was further proof how much pressure the BC side was under.
A glorious chance came to Jordan Hamilton later on. Substitute Kyle Bekker found the striker, who pulled his first-timer wide.
Smyrniotis brought on several of his more senior players later on with hopes of stealing all three points. However, none of them could make the impact needed to keep Forge’s three-game winning streak going.
One final big chance came to Hamilton in the final minute of normal time. Jensen broke free on the left wing, finding Hamilton with his cross. But, once again, the number nine pulled his shot over the bar.
Forge stays unbeaten on the year, with that being their third draw of the campaign. They will head to Stade Saputo for a midweek clash with CF Montréal in the Canadian Championship semifinals. Right after that, they head to the nation’s capital for a clash with Atlético Ottawa. It will be the first time the Hammers return to Ottawa since their 2-0 defeat of the same opponents in last October’s CPL final.
As for Vancouver FC, now on to six points, their next match will come next Saturday as well. The expansion club will welcome Valour to Willoughby Community Centre as the Eagles will look for their first ever home win.