Hamilton, Ontario (June 16, 2019) — Hamilton Forge FC earned a late turnaround victory against Valour FC on Saturday, getting two goals in the final six minutes. The win puts Forge FC into CONCACAF League as the Canadian Premier League representative. Forge are now on 16 points in the Spring Season table and have an outside chance at the title.
A Rough Start, A Wild Finish
It was a game that got off to a great start for Valour FC. Marco Bustos fired the Winnipeg side into the lead after just 30 seconds. His left-footed, curling effort beat Triston Henry in the Forge FC goal at the end of a quick transition move.
Valour FC had a great first half, controlling much of the play and putting Forge FC under considerable pressure. Forge had a number of chances of their own throughout the game, though. David Choinière had a pair of great chances, one saved brilliantly by Janssens and the other cleared off the line.
It wasn’t until the 84th minute that Forge FC finally broke through. Kyle Bekker whipped a delivery in toward the front post and substitute Jace Kotsopoulos nodded it home to equalize. This match was Kotsopoulos’ first appearance in a Forge FC shirt.
"It's one of the best feelings I've ever had playing this game."
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) June 16, 2019
Then, in the 90th minute, Forge struck again. Tristan Borges whipped in another corner that deflected in off Jordan Murrell and sent Tim Horton’s Field into ecstatic celebration.
Forge imposed their style in this game, especially in the second half. Head coach Bobby Smyrniotis continues to get the best from his squad and utilizes his depth well. Kotsopoulos’s substitute appearance means that every Forge FC squad player has now seen action across the spring season and Canadian Championship.
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) June 15, 2019
CONCACAF League Calling
Three points not only looks good in the spring season standings, where Forge still have an outside chance at the title, but it also secured CONCACAF League participation. CONCACAF League presents the Hamilton club with a chance to qualify for Champions’ League play next season. Their victory over Valour secured a home-and-away series with Antigua GFC of Guatemala. The first match is at Tim Horton’s Field on July 30, with the away leg taking place on August 6.
Spring Season Chances
Cavalry FC remained unbeaten thanks to a 3-0 victory over FC Edmonton earlier in the day. If the Calgary side slips up in the run-in towards their Saturday meeting with Forge, the match could become a title decider. Presently, Forge sit second with 16 points, two back of Cavalry. Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s outfit have played two fewer games.