CPL Island Games: Forge steal late win against Pacific FC

CPL Forge Pacific

Prince Edward Island — Forge FC were able to steal a late win against a well-organized Pacific FC Saturday night. Pa-Modou Kah’s Vancouver Island side were a tough test for the reigning champions, who just edge out a win with a 97th minute goal from Forge captain Kyle Bekker.

Missed Chances Nearly Cost Champs

Although Forge took the lead in the first half, the Hamilton side were wasteful in front of goal. Chris Nanco gave the Hamilton side a 1-0 advantage after collecting an errant pass from Pacific keeper Nolan Wirth. Nanco finished with class, and early on Forge FC seemed to be rolling.

Gabriel Balbinotti nearly scored a second only a few moments later, sliding onto a wonderful cross from David Choinière. However, within 10 minutes, Pacific FC had found an equalizer. A corner kick that wasn’t cleared or handled by the Forge defenders fell to Jamar Dixon, and he made no mistake from close range.

Forge have struggled somewhat from set pieces so far during the Island Games. Although Daniel Krutzen and David Edgar are both strong aerial defenders, the marking is not tight enough. Dominic Zator managed a free header in the opening match against Cavalry FC and the Hamilton side looked shaky against HFX Wanderers in set piece situations.

In addition to some defensive shakiness, Forge have needed better finishing in front of goal.

“The one thing we’ve seen in this season is finishing hasn’t been the sharpest,” Head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis said, speaking to CanPL.ca. “It’s something we’re seeing that’s common when you look at how many goals come from set-pieces or penalties, though those chances can be created by getting into dangerous parts of the field”

“But, to be honest, we at Forge need to be sharper in the final third of the field.”

Forge Steal Late Win

Pacific FC proved a tough test for the reigning champs, and looked set to earn a point from their hard work and organization. The Islanders hit the crossbar from a cheeky Terran Campbell chip with just a few moments to go. In what ended up being the penultimate move of the match, Elimane Cissé won a knockdown for Mo Babouli near the Pacific box. Babouli cut the ball back for an onrushing Bekker, who finished with aplomb.

That goal is the second for the Forge FC captain, who has played every minute of the Island Games thus far. Smyrniotis has really relied on Bekker for leadership and consistency in the middle of the park.

Forge in Pole Position

While the loss is a difficult one for Pacific, who can absolutely feel as though Forge stole the three points, it does leave them in touching distance of the Top 4 still. However, Forge sit at the top of the standings, though Cavalry have played one fewer match thus far.

Meanwhile, Forge FC play again on Wednesday against local rivals York 9.


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