Remember the name, Nico Pasquotti.
Deadlocked at one goal apiece and heading toward what seemed to be an inevitable draw at Tim Hortons Field, the 23-year-old Cavalry FC substitute managed to score a 95th-minute winner over Forge FC with the last stroke of the ball, getting on the end of a header sent into the box by defender Joel Waterman from a set-piece routine in the dying embers of the match.
His dramatic, late goal proved the difference on the day as Cavalry FC takes its winning streak to three in a row.
Earlier goals from Nik Ledgerwood of Cavalry and Tristan Borges of Forge, both of which came in the first half, provided the other highlight moments in what was otherwise a hard-fought battle under blustery conditions, with both goals coming in similar fashion. Each team’s captains got on the end of smartly-played through balls before finishing cooly in front of goal.
Ledgerwood’s effort came in the 21st minute of play, as Dean Northover played a ball across the field, which fell fortuitously to Elijah Adekugbe, just outside the box. Ledgerwood timed his run just as Adekugbe paused to make the pass, beating the offside trap before shooting to Quillan Roberts’ near side. Roberts’ fingertips were not enough to keep the ball out of the back of the net, spurring Ledgerwood to celebrations of a … unique variety.
Forge would respond in kind in the 33rd minute, as Emery Welshman saw a channel and sent the ball through the Cavalry backline, finding Borges, who finished with a well-placed shot past Marco Carducci’s far side to level the score.
A sopping second half saw both sides test one another sparingly, though Cavalry’s Jose Escalante was forced off through injury in the 56th minute, limiting Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s attacking options as a result.
A sensational miss in the 87th minute by Sergio Camargo didn’t help Cavalry’s away efforts, but it was more than made up for as Pasquotti’s late goal wrapped things up on a rainy day in Hamilton.
Forge returns to action on May 16, heading to Investors Group Field to take on Valour FC (8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT, available on OneSoccer). Meanwhile, Cavalry FC switches focus to Canadian Championship action, taking on Pacific FC at Westhills Stadium in the first round of the tournament (May 15, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, available on OneSoccer).
Three key performers
Nico Pasquotti (Cavalry FC)
We gave credit to Calum Ferguson of Valour FC for his own game-winner on Saturday, and that same credit is due here for young Nico Pasquotti, who scored the last-second goal that gave his side the 2-1 victory over Forge. That goal also earned the praises of his head coach, who heralded Pasquotti’s history of scoring important goals like this on the OneSoccer broadcast.
Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
Taking on the captains armband in the absence of Kyle Bekker to suspension, Borges continued to demonstrate the sort of attacking skills and measured control of midfield that has made him an early standout in the league. Whether it was a moment or two of trickery and fancy-footedness, or his well-timed and well-placed goal, Borges was a threat throughout.
Joel Waterman (Cavalry FC)
Set up the crucial game-winning goal with a powerful leap and header off a set piece, but was also crucial in keeping the score level until that 95-minute mark, leading the team with seven interceptions and, crucially, in total passes, as well as total passes in the opposition’s half. A defender taking the game to the opposition? That’s the thesis of a standout performance.