C.D. Marathón was slightly the better team and it showed on the scoreboard as they make the 2021 Concacaf Champions League. Marathón won against Forge FC 1-0 in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. For the first time this year in the Concacaf League, Forge struggled to create many quality scoring opportunities. And like the last game against Arcahaie FC, was not able to capitalize on their chances.
Forge FC falls to C.D. Marathón, who advance to the 2021 Concacaf Champions League
Three keys to the game
Forge FC did not take advantage of their opportunities
Forge had seven shots with four of them hitting the target. A lot of their chances came at the start of both the first and second half. However, they never really maintained that momentum. One of their best chances came in the 10th minute as Kadell Thomas’ shot was stopped by Bryan Johnson. He also had another chance in the 14-minute, but his shot sailed over the net.
In the 22nd minute, Thomas continued his positive play and Maxime Tissot played a big role in getting Hamilton’s next scoring chance. Unfortunately, the shot went wide. Hamilton would get another chance in the 42nd minute, David Choinière played a big role in Thomas getting a golden scoring opportunity. Thomas could not get the shot off and passed it to Tissot, whose shot was off-target.
Forge’s best chance came in the 47th minute in the second half as Kyle Bekker had a great corner. This resulted in Molham Babouli hitting the bar.
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) December 9, 2020
In the 49th minute, Babouli had another chance but his shot was saved by Marathón goalkeeper Luis Ortiz. Daniel Krutzen also had a chance in the 72nd minute.
C.D. Marathón looked more dangerous than Forge FC
This was especially true in the case of the first half. Marathón had six of the game’s seven corners. San Pedro Sula would end up winning the corner battle with nine compared to Hamilton’s five. They also looked dangerous in the first half and always looked like the team that could score more goals.
This started off in the fourth minute as Forge goalkeeper Triston Henry was forced to make a good save. Then in the 13th minute San Pedro Sula had another great chance, which was again saved by Henry. Marathón would then get their goal in the 18th minute as Edwin Solany Solano Martinez collected the rebound and put the shot past Henry to take the 1-0 lead.
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) December 9, 2020
C.D. Marathón played well defensively
Furthermore, a lot of credit should be given to San Pedro Sula’s defense. They were able to prevent Hamilton from getting dangerous scoring chances after scoring the first goal. The only exception was the start of the second half.
Part of it was Hamilton’s inability to create quality scoring opportunities throughout the game, but it does not take away anything from what Marathón accomplished. A good example of this happened in the 10th minute. Kadell Thomas had a glorious opportunity to score but Bryan Johnson played good defense and blocked the shot. This was probably the biggest moment of the match for San Pedro Sula. Besides that, they did not allow Hamilton to get comfortable. They frustrated the opposition and did not allow them to score goals.
They also had chances in the 77th and 83rd minute. Ryduan Palermo got a shot off in the 77th minute but was unable to convert. Then they had a great chance in the 83rd minute. However, clinical defending by David Edgar kept the game 1-0, which ended up being the final score.
— Concacaf (@Concacaf) December 9, 2020
David Edgar retires as a professional soccer player
This was Edgar’s final game as a professional soccer player. He has made more than 150 appearances in the top-flight in England. The team he played the most games for was the Burnley Football Club, where he made 99 appearances and scored four goals from 2009-14.
In Hamilton, he will be remembered for his performance in the first two years of the Canadian Premier League from 2019-20. During that time, he made 18 appearances and scored one goal. He also won two North Star Shields in the CPL. This included winning 2-0 over the HFX Wanderers FC in the 2020 CPL final.
Forever Forge! pic.twitter.com/FQ3aGwMtMF
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) December 9, 2020
Forge FC’s performance in the 2020 Concacaf League
Forge’s performance in the Concacaf League showed that CPL teams can compete with other teams in Concacaf. The most notable one was winning 1-2 against Tauro F.C. in Panama. Forge was the better in three of those four games. Looking back, Hamilton will be looking to that penalty shootout loss to Arcahaie and wonder if things could have been different. It was an opportunity missed to have two Canadian teams in the Concacaf Champions League since 1976 when it was known as the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.
Marathón was the better team against Forge, although it was not by much as shown in the score line. If there was criticism with Hamilton or the CPL it is their inability to capitalize on their chances. Even in games that Forge has played well and won games, they could have won those games by a larger margin. If this issue is solved, CPL should get into the Concacaf Champions League sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, both Bekker and head coach Bobby Smyrniotis got red cards in this game. Forge will also make an appearance in the 2021 Concacaf League as they won the 2020 North Star Shield. This might mean both Bekker and Smyrniotis will not make an appearance in Hamilton’s first Concacaf League game in 2021.
What is next for Forge FC and C.D. Marathón
C.D. Marathón now has a Concacaf Champions League to look forward to in 2021. It is important to note that Hamilton could still make the Concacaf Champions League next year. Canada Soccer has revealed that the 2020 Canadian Championship Final against MLS-side Toronto FC will take place in the first quarter of 2021. All of this indicates that the Canadian Championship Final will take place either in January or February of 2021.
Forge FC fall in their final Concacaf League bid for @TheChampions. A Canadian Championship Final matchup with @TorontoFC will determine the 2021 Champions League entrant. 🇨🇦 ⚽️ https://t.co/pU0FkPOPQT
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) December 9, 2020