Double-Header Recap: Sigma and Hamilton Put on Thriller
While the Canadian Premier League opening weekend got most of the eyes, League1 Ontario also saw some formidable action, including a double-header matchup in conjunction with the CPL in Hamilton.
To start, Sigma FC faced Hamilton United Elite to kick off the action at Tim Hortons Field. The third League1 Ontario match of the season did not disappoint, as the two clubs managed to score eight times between them. In the end, Sigma held their nerve despite relinquishing three leads, ultimately winning 5-3.
The goals started just three minutes in, as Kevaughn Tavernier was played in, beating Hamilton United keeper Samuel Spoelstra.
The game settled down after that as both teams got into the game. Yet, 20 minutes later, the local side equalized. Amir Shirazi’s corner was met by Ahmad Mansour as the Hamilton skipper leveled the score.
Minutes later, Sigma would retake the lead. Countering from a Hamilton United free kick, the effort would be saved by Spoelstra only for defender Antonio DiGiovanni to knock the ball into his own net.
The goals would keep on coming as the hometown team would equalize at the half-hour mark. Yet another corner did the damage, as Sigma failed to clear their lines. The ball would ultimately fall to Conrad Czarnecki, who powered it home.
That would cap the scoring for the half, but the fans did not have to wait long for the next goal. Four minutes into the second interval, the Mississauga side retook the lead via Tavernier. Former Forge player Emery Welshman’s shot went straight at Spoelstra, but Tavernier knocked in the rebound.
Ten minutes later, Hamilton United levelled it once more. A cross was deflected up in the air and fell to Amir Shirazi. The number 10 hit a low shot into the bottom corner, giving Sigma keeper Eduard Ambrus.
In the end, Sigma was not to be denied. A cross from Evan Dick fell at the feet of Efay Adenuga, who tapped it in. Minutes later, a long ball would drop to Welshman, who would convert with aplomb to seal the victory for Sigma.
Sigma will be back at Tim Hortons Field next week as they will host ProStars. As for Hamilton United, they will return to the field on Thursday, facing Darby at McMaster University.
Forge 2-2 Cavalry: Visitors Surrender Lead Twice
Whenever Forge and Cavalry meet, there is always drama. Saturday’s second half of the doubleheader did not disappoint.
Cavalry returned to the same place where their 2022 campaign ended – Tim Hortons Field – to face Forge FC. Goals would come in both halves, as the pair could not be separated.
The first half started off rather quietly, as there were no clear-cut chances within the first 10 minutes. That changed when Ali Musse had a glorious chance. The Cavalry winger slipped in, but could not beat Forge keeper Triston Henry.
The guests would take the lead in the 36th minute. A cross into the box was volleyed by Mason and redirected by Myer Bevan, who made no mistake in beating Henry to give the Cavs the advantage.
Less than five minutes later, the score would return to parity. Noah Jensen played a long ball in to Jordan Hamilton, who got a foot on the ball before being taken down in the box by Cavalry keeper Marco Carducci. The referee pointed to the spot, to which Hamilton took the penalty and converted it.
The first half did have some intense moments, with a player from both teams, along with Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis receiving yellow cards. Things calmed down in the second half.
Forge would come out of the blocks much quicker in the second half, creating a few chances within the opening 10 minutes of the restart.
However, Cavalry would retake the lead near the three quarter mark of the match. Mikael Cantave was afforded space to take a shot. The Haitian international shot from distance, beating Henry with an unstoppable shot.
Trying to salvage something from the game, Forge kept pushing. Fortunately for the Hammers, they would get their leveler. A cross into the box was deflected and fell to Jensen. The midfielder hit a left footed shot first time, finding the bottom corner.
As time winded down, Forge had a huge opportunity to claim all free points. Substitute Terran Campbell managed to beat his defender and go one-on-one with Carducci. In the end though, the forward’s effort was easily saved by the Cavs’ number one.
The game ended 2-2, as neither team could do enough to get a win. Cavalry’s next two games will be at Starlight Stadium where they will face Pacific in the Canadian Championship on Wednesday and then again in the league on Saturday.
As for Forge, their next two will also be at home. PLSQ winners from 2022 FC Laval will head to Tim Hortons Field on Tuesday night for a Canadian Championship clash. Following that, the Hammers will host Halifax Wanderers next Saturday