Joshua Navarro helped Forge FC advance to the CPL Finals

2021 CPL Hamilton Forge FC vs York United FC in Hamilton, Ontario

HAMILTON, ON – Joshua Navarro helped Forge FC get two goals in the second half. As a result, Hamilton will go to their third-straight final defeating their 905 Derby rivals York United FC 3-1.

Joshua Navarro’s performance helped Forge FC advance

Three keys to the game

First half

Forge FC was dangerous in the first five minutes of play. This was indicative of how well Hamilton played throughout the game.

Forge FC struck first. Tristan Borges delivered a terrific pass to Woobens Pacius, who put the ball into the back of the net. The goal was coming as Hamilton had a few chances before that goal.

Borges delivered a terrific pass to Woobens Pacius in the eighth minute. In the 16-minute, Borges had a chance to score, but his shot was off-target. York United FC goalkeeper Natham Ingham made a terrific save in the 23-minute. Omar Browne’s shot was off-target in the 30-minute. Kyle Bekker’s shot in the 31-minute was just over the net, but was just off-target. Dominick Zator cleared the ball in the 33-minute. Kwame Awuah made a good block in the 35-minute.

Despite Hamilton dominating the game, they gave up a game-tying goal late in the first half. In the 38-minute, Michael Petrasso scored with a terrifically placed shot that ended in the back of the net. Daniel Krutzen’s header was off-target in the 39-minute. Navarro’s shot was blocked by York’s defence in the 42-minute.

Second half

York’s Nathan Ingham timed his release well in the 47-minute. Hamilton got a free kick in the 62-minute. They had a good chance to score in the 63-minute but were unable to put the ball into the back of the net in the 63-minute. York United FC player got past Awuah, but his shot was blocked by a Forge player in the 64-minute. Max Ferrari did well defending Borges in the 70-minute to prevent a clear-cut scoring chance.

The second Forge goal happened because York’s Jordan Wilson could not handle Forge’s Browne’s pass. As a result, Joshua Navarro got the ball close to the net and beat York’s goalkeeper Ingham to give his team the lead.

Forge would score just a few minutes later in the 73-minute. Forge’s captain Kyle Bekker created a cross following a corner kick. Joshua Navarro got a header off, which deflected off Noah Verhoeven and went into the back of the net. Yes, the deflection off Verhoeven did play a role in that goal. However, how did that goal get created? It was the skill level of Bekker and the anticipation of Navarro that gave Hamilton the insurance goal near the end of the game.

Hamilton would continue the pressure with Omar Browne’s shot in the 77-minute, which was off-target. Ingham and Henry both had to make big saves in the 78-minute for their respective teams. Abzi’s shot hit the post in the 87-minute. Forge FC will face Pacific FC (based in Langford) on December 5 at 4:30 p.m. ET. The final will be shown on OneSoccer and Telus.

Three Takeaways of Forge FC’s third-straight CPL Finals appearance:

Forge FC makes their third-straight Canadian Premier League Finals appearance. This will be the third-time Hamilton could win the North Star Shield. They will face Pacific FC, who got a gutsy road win over Cavalry FC. The game will take place on December 5 at Tim Hortons Field. This will be the very first time the North Star Shield will be awarded in Hamilton, Ontario. Hamilton won the 2019 North Star Shield in Foothills County and in 2020 in Charlottetown. The winner also gets a berth to the 2022 Concacaf League.

Joshua Navarro played very well in the second half. Yes, the second and third goals came from York United FC defensive errors. However, Navarro had to execute and take advantage, which he did in Hamilton’s second and third goals.

York United FC’s successful 2021 CPL season ends. Oliver Platt said it on OneSoccer, but he did not expect York to make the Canadian Premier League playoffs. York did well just beating Valour FC (based in Winnipeg) to get that final playoff spot. They also beat the two-time defending CPL champions Forge FC on the road at Tim Hortons Field twice in the regular season.

Photo credit to Ryan McCullough of Forge FC on November 21, 2021.