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Forge FC makes CPL history with a 3-0 win over AD Santos

2021 CPL Forge FC vs York United FC on September 11, 2021

HAMILTON, ON – For Forge FC, Canadian Premier League history was made. They become the first-ever CPL team to advance to the Concacaf Champions League. There was also other history made as Hamilton was the better team, especially in the first half while they were more clinical in the second half.

Forge FC makes CPL history at Tim Hortons Field

Three keys to the game

First half

It was pretty even for both teams in the first four minutes. There was a questionable call against Molham Babouli in the fifth minute of play. Hamilton gave up the ball in the sixth minute in their own end. Forge started to attack in the seventh minute. The foul was called against Hamilton in the ninth minute. Hamilton gave up the ball in the 10-minute. Browne’s shot in the 11-minute got a deflection and gave Hamilton their first corner kick. Forge got a fantastic chance in the 11-minute, but no one has was able to connect with Borges pass.

A good interception in the 13-minute by Hamilton. Kwame Awuah’s pass was off-target. The Santos de Guápiles goalkeeper Kevin Ruiz made two excellent saves to prevent Hamilton from scoring in the 17-minute. Awuah delivered a terrific cross pass to Borges, who missed the net in the 20-minute. Tristan Borges had a terrific run to draw a foul for Hamilton. Borges got the ball, but could only shoot it to the goalkeeper.

Elimane Cissé played terrific defence in the 33-minute to deflect a dangerous strike for a Santos corner. Kyle Bekker’s shot in the 44-minute was off-target. The first half ended with Hamilton dominating the game but was only one goal up at halftime.

Second half

AD Santos was attacking and dominating possession in the first five minutes of the game. Awuah made a good defensive play in the 48-minute. Hamilton goalkeeper Triston Henry also came up big with a save early in the second half. Daniel Krutzen made a good defensive play in the 51-minute. Luis Paradela made a terrific defensive play in the 52-minute. Pablo Abone got the ball off from Borges. Browne was offside in the 56-minute. Paradela’s shot was deflected and Cissé made it difficult for the shot to get off. Cissé was booked in the 59-minute with a yellow card. Hamilton made a big clearance in the 60-minute.

Babouli’s shot was just high in the 61-minute. Emery Welshman had good hold-up play and Bekker gave Babouli the pass. Garven Metusula made a good defensive play in the 64-minute. Paradela in the 72-minute missed the target. Welshman could not get the ball in the 75-minute. Triston Henry made a good save in the 78-minute.

Next games for both teams and what this means for Forge FC

It was a great result, for Hamilton, especially after the disappointing losses to C.D. Marathon and especially Arcahaie FC in the 2020 Concacaf League. They will now travel on the road on November 6 (1:00 p.m. ET) and November 9 (7:00 p.m. ET) against York United FC. They will then travel to Alberta to face FC Edmonton on November 13 (2:00 p.m. ET). Hamilton will then close their season against rivals Cavalry FC on November 16 at 6:00 p.m. ET. All games will be shown on OneSoccer and Telus.

Both games will be shown live on OneSoccer and Telus. This is while Santos does not play until November 21 on the road against San Carlos. They will then host Cartagines on November 28 before closing out the season at home against Guadalupe on December 5. This is what Hamilton head coach Bobby Smyrniotis said about the win according to Concacaf:

“It’s fantastic. It was the most important game in the team’s history. The heroes are the players for their dedication and commitment, happy to have qualified for the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League”

Three takeaways as Forge FC makes CPL history:

Canadian Premier League and Canada Soccer history were made. Yes, Hamilton became the first-ever Canadian Premier League side to make the Concacaf League semi-finals and the Concacaf Champions League. It is more historical than that though. The last time there was more than one Canadian team in the Concacaf Champions League was in 1976. At that time, it was known as the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. In that tournament, the Toronto Italia and Serbian White Eagles FC qualified for the tournament. The winner of the Canadian Championship will be the second Canadian entrant in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League. The three teams remaining in the 2021 Canadian Championship are MLS’s CF Montréal and Toronto FC, and also CPL’s Pacific FC.

Forge FC really played well. Hamilton deserved the win against Limón. They did not give Limón a shot on goal in the first half. They were also more clinical in the second half scoring two goals. In particular, the goal by Omar Brownie and the defensive play by Cisse in the 33-minute defined the night for Hamilton.

AD Santos will also be in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League. The two best losing quarterfinals also make the Concacaf Champions League. This includes all results in the Concacaf League except the preliminary round. Santos won all three of their games in the Concacaf League from the Round of 16 onwards until last night. This included a 3-1 home win in leg one against Hamilton.

Picture credit to Forge FC by Ryan McCullough on September 11, 2021.



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