Forge FC smothered Valour FC like humid Southern Ontario air on Saturday, dispatching the visitors 2-1 on a particularly hot afternoon day at Tim Hortons Field.
Bobby Smyrniotis’ side looked the better of the two from early in the first half, as Forge kept their Winnipeg opponents at bay to earn a third league win in a week.
An opener came for Forge in the 32nd minute when a ball dropped for an unmarked Elimane Cisse just in front of goal. A second Forge marker came just a few minutes later via the penalty spot after Dominic Samuel was slashed down in the box by Valour defender Jordan Murrell. Emery Welshman’s right-footed effort earned his club a much-deserved first-half lead. Valour managed five touches in the opposition box through the first 45 while Forge boasted 20.
Valour was given a lifeline early in the second frame when striker Tyler Attardo, who came on at the start of the half, recovered from a janky first touch to finish off a set-piece opportunity.
Kadell Thomas finished Valour off in style come injury time, driving around defenders at the near post before pulling the ball back and chipping a helpless Tyson Farago.
Both sides will be back in action on Saturday. Valour finally returns home to IG Field, where they’ll take on Cavalry FC (3:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 p.m. CT, on OneSoccer). Forge is back on the road, heading west to play the CPL’s other Alberta club in FC Edmonton (6:00 p.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).
32′ – Elimane Cissé (Forge FC)
37′ – Emery Welshman (Forge FC)
49′ – Tyler Attardo (Valour FC)
94′ – Kadell Thomas (Forge FC)
16′ – Yellow Card – Giuliano Frano (Forge FC)
55′ – Yellow Card – Kwame Awuah (Forge FC)
93′ – Yellow Card – Kadell Thomas (Forge FC)
Three key performers
Emery Welshman (Forge FC)
Held the ball up exceptionally well, especially in the box, crucially keeping play in or just on the verge of Valour’s final third for long stretches of the match. He stretched Valour’s backline too, breaking through frequently, leading to five shots total.
Daniel Krutzen (Forge FC)
A dominant performance on the left side of Forge’s defence; a match-leading six tackles, four interceptions and 83 touches.
Tyler Attardo (Valour FC)
Valour’s 17-year-old centre forward breathed much-needed life into Rob Gale’s side; chasing and maintaining possession with pace in the hot sun. Good recovery on his goal, too.