PREVIEW – Forge FC was not able to close out their game against Arcahaie FC in the 2020 Concacaf League quarterfinals. A win would have meant qualifying for the Concacaf Champions League. However, Forge has another chance of making that a reality. On December 8th, they will face C.D. Marathón, who lost to Deportivo Saprissa 0-2 in the Concacaf League quarter-finals.
Forge FC has another chance to make history against C.D. Marathón
Marathón is currently ranked first in the Liga Nacional 2020 Apertura season in group B with 26 points. They have a goal differential of +15. In group B, they have allowed the fewest goals and scored the second-most goals in the 2020 Apertura season (this does not include the results of other fixtures on Sunday, December. 6). Overall, if including group A, they have the third-most points in the 2020 Apertura season. In league play, they currently are on a four-game winning streak.
However, they have not had the same success at the international level. The last time the prestige club made the Concacaf Champions League was the 2009-10 edition. Furthermore, they were eliminated in the preliminary round in the 2019 edition of the Concacaf League to Guatemalan-side Comunicaciones F.C. In the 2020 Concacaf League Round of 16, they defeated Antigua GFC 4-3 in penalties after the game was tied 1-1 after 90 minutes. Coincidentally, Antigua was eliminated by Hamilton in the preliminary round of the 2019 Concacaf League.
They would then lose to Saprissa 0-2 in Honduras in the quarterfinals. This included giving up a second goal to Johan Venegas of Saprissa.
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) December 2, 2020
Their last game was a 4-0 win over Honduras Progreso on Saturday. This is only three days before facing Forge FC in the Concacaf League play-in game on December 8th. This is not ideal for Marathón as they will play two games in four days.
However, Bobby Smyrniotos (manager of Forge FC) is not underestimating them. This is what he said about Marathón:
Hamilton Forge FC
Hamilton may have felt that they should have made it to the Concacaf Champions League. However, soccer can be a cruel game, and a careless mistake by Hamilton goalkeeper Triston Henry allowed Arcahaie FC back into the game. Forge ended up losing in penalties 4-2 against Arcahaie.
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) December 2, 2020
Smyrniotis, though was quick to defend his goalkeeper, saying that it will probably happen only once in his career.
“This one kind of stings but he’s fantastic. He’s goalkeeper of the year in the Canadian Premier League for a reason. It’s unfortunate that this comes at this moment but we’ve got to look past it,” he added.
Henry won the 2020 Canadian Premier League goalkeeper of the year award. Furthermore, Kyle Bekker was named the best Canadian Premier League player in 2020.
Hamilton had the better chances against Arcahaie. The only real chance Arcahaie had was the mistake made by CPL goalkeeper of the year Henry. They should still feel confident that they can beat Marathón. Forge has been the best team in the three games they played in the Concacaf League. This included a 1-2 victory over Tauro F.C. in Panama, a team that was ranked higher than Marathón in the Concacaf League.
Scoring Goals First and their Success in the Concacaf League
Forge has also scored the first goal in all three games in the Concacaf League. If they continue that trend against Marathón, they have very good chances to advance to the Concacaf Champions League. The only criticism that one can say of Hamilton is that they do not take full advantage of their chances and this included the game against Arcahaie.
They are a different team than the one who lost 4-1 to Olimpia in the Concacaf League’s Round of 16 last year. This is the last time Hamilton has played in Honduras. This will also be David Edgar’s last game as a professional soccer player. He will retire after the conclusion of Hamilton’s Concacaf League campaign against Marathón.
After 17 seasons of professional soccer, Kitchener’s David Edgar has announced his retirement. He left Canada at 14 and achieved his dream of playing for @NUFC, had 42 caps for @CanadaSoccerEN and back to back titles in the @CPLSoccer. https://t.co/Xe2R9WA2fF
— Josh Brown (@BrownRecord) November 30, 2020
C.D. Marathón vs. Hamilton Forge FC: Game Overview
It is expected to be a very tight game. There should not be a blowout either way in this contest. History is on the line in this contest. This is the final chance of having two Canadian teams in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League and the first time since 1976 when it was called the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.
Both teams should feel they have good chances to win this game. Hamilton has been one of the better sides in this edition of the Concacaf League and Marathón has been one of the better sides in Honduras. This game will most likely go to the wire as both teams meet for the first time in their respective clubs’ history.
The game will take place at Tegucigalpa, Honduras in Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino against CD Marathón. This will be in neutral territory as Marathón plays at San Pedro Sula, not Tegucigalpa. The game will be televised nationally (in Canada) on TSN 5 on Tuesday, December. 8th at 10 PM EST.
See you Tuesday, @CDMarathon.
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) December 4, 2020