Hamilton, Ontario (July 8, 2019) — The Canadian Premier League Fall season kicked off Saturday the same way the spring season ended — a match-up between FC Edmonton and Hamilton’s Forge FC. The result went the same way, too. The Eddies grabbed a 2-1 victory on a Triston Henry goalkeeping error.
The Forge FC keeper fluffed a sharp angle shot and deflected it into his own goal. Meanwhile, the Eddies initially took the lead late in the first half, with captain Tomi Ameobi deftly heading home off a set piece.
Nevertheless, the game was well balanced, with both sides getting good chances. Forge FC equalized through young U-Sports product Jace Kotsopoulos in the 57th minute. The striker calmly slotted home after a smart headed assist from Marcel Zajac. It was in the 72nd minute that the seemingly innocuous ball across the box confounded Henry and led to the own goal, securing the win for the visiting side.
The loss certainly doesn’t help Forge FC, who have a busy slate of games coming up. In addition to their CPL matchups, the club also takes on Antigua FC of Guatemala in CONCACAF League action on August 1. With back-to-back losses to FC Edmonton, head coach Bobby Smyrniotis must get his team focused on the matches ahead. The Hamilton side have six days to prepare for the next match. Forge FC must put the fall opener behind them and focus on the future.
"Easy tap in for me." – Jace Kotsopoulos recaps his equalizer and the assist from Marcel Zajac. #ForgeFC | #CanPL pic.twitter.com/KPAgY2gtyL
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) July 6, 2019
Welshman on the Move?
One potential wrinkle in the upcoming preparations is the report out of Israel that Emery Welshman is set to join Hapoel Haifa in the coming days. Welshman is on loan from FC Cincinnati of MLS. The forward recently represented Guyana at their first ever Gold Cup appearance alongside Forge FC teammate Quillan Roberts.
Welshman has a goal and two assists in Canadian Premier League competition so far. If the report proves true, it could be a significant blow for Forge. Welshman has earned a lot of minutes thus far this season. A versatile player who can operate on the wing as well as in the middle of Smyrniotis’ preferred front three, Welshman provides some veteran experience to a young Forge FC side.
An Israeli team is saying @ForgeFCHamilton's Emery Welshman is set to join their club in "the coming days."
I've reached out but am waiting on confirmation from Forge FC. @onesoccer #CanPL https://t.co/t87w33C5d6
— Louis Butko (@Louis_Butko) July 8, 2019
Looking ahead, up next for Forge is a visit to Pacific FC. If the Spring season is any indication, every point is vital in this league and the Hamilton side will be looking for a victory. Pacific FC also lost their Fall season opener in a 3-2 slog against Spring champions Cavalry FC.
The Victoria outfit started the season slowly but rounded into form as the Spring competition progressed. Expect a tough match up with Pacific eager for Spring season redemption. The West Coast side finished 5th in the Spring season.