Winnipeg, Canada — After a long break, Forge FC returned to Canadian Premier League action Saturday. The Hamilton side journeyed to Winnipeg to take on bottom side Valour FC. Forge had a lengthy break from CPL action thanks to their CONCACAF league success.
Top and Bottom
Although Forge have been away from CPL action, their past results have kept them right at the top end of the standings, challenging for top spot in the Fall table.
Contrasting Forge’s success is Valour’s woeful fall campaign. The Winnipeg side have just one win in the fall season and have been nailed to the foot of the standings.
The two sides last met on a scorching hot day, with Forge coming away 3-1 winners. Forge took the lead in this match on the half hour mark, with Anthony Novak breaking through and slotting home. Novak is head coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ main central goal threat since the departure of Emery Welshman.
Forge had a penalty in the match right before halftime. However, Valour keeper Mathias Janssens got down well to save.
In the second half, Forge controlled play and got the 2-0 marker from Novak, who bullied his way through the Valour defense to collect his second of the match.
Valour got a penalty of their own, which Michael Petrasso dispatched. Forge re-established the two goal cushion with a strike from Chris Nanco just a minute later. The win means that Forge FC are at the top of the Fall standings thanks to dropped points from Cavalry FC and FC Edmonton.
— The Ambitious City (@ambitiouscityyy) August 17, 2019
There’s no rest for the Forge players, who take on CD Olimpia of Honduras in CONCACAF League action on Thursday. The match against Valour kicked off a run of four games in 12 days, with 10 games between now and the end of September. The squad depth of Forge will definitely be tested.
Part of that depth is new signing David Edgar, the 42 time Canadian International. The defender featured from the bench against Valour and may well feature from the start against Olimpia. Edgar is the most experienced national team player to join the Canadian Premier League aside from HFX Wanderers Jan-Michael Williams. The Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper has 81 caps for his national team.
Setting the Stage
While the CONCACAF League fixtures may take centre stage, Forge’s next CPL fixture is a tantalizing one. The Hamilton side take on Cavalry at Tim Horton’s Field with top spot in the table on the line. The way Forge return to Premier League action after their CONCACAF matches may dictate where they finish in the fall table.