Just as it seemed they’d be held goalless, Cavalry FC found a lifeline at Tim Hortons Field on Tuesday night. The Canadian Championship Qualifying Round 2 match ended in the most dramatic way possible as a last-minute penalty for Cavalry gave them a 1-1 draw with Forge FC in Leg 1.
The home side found their offensive breakthrough just after halftime in the 48th minute, as Emery Welshman scored into an open goal after David Choiniere couldn’t finish a one-on-one opportunity against Cavs keeper Nikolas Giantsopoulos.
Cavalry, for the first time ever, found themselves playing from behind for much of the second half. They were on the back foot in general at Tim Hortons Field, although they had the lion’s share of the chances once they needed to chase a goal.
With just seconds remaining in stoppage time, though, Cavalry won a penalty kick as Forge keeper Quillian Roberts came in with a high boot on a challenge in the box. He was shown a red card in the 93rd minute, so midfielder Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson was called upon to don the keeper’s gloves for the spot kick. Cavalry’s Dominique Malonga stepped up and smashed it into the left side of the goal, giving the visitors a dramatic equalizer with almost the last kick of the ball.
Up next on the calendar for both sides is the return leg of this QR2 tie, where Cavalry will have a slight edge with an away goal. Forge will travel to Alberta for their rematch with Cavalry on Tuesday, June 11 (9:30 p.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).
48′ – Emery Welshman (Forge FC)
96′ – Dominique Malonga (Penalty, Cavalry FC)
41′ – Yellow Card – Nathan Mavila (Cavalry FC)
68′ – Yellow Card – Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson (Forge FC)
84′ – Yellow Card – Giuliano Frano (Forge FC)
93′ – Red Card – Quillian Roberts (Forge FC)
Three Key Performers
Emery Welshman (Forge FC)
The chance he actually did put in the net was far from Welshman’s most impressive on the night. He had three shots on target and another one blocked, and he won a team-high 17 duels. The striker was Forge’s best player on Tuesday, although he’ll be disappointed not to have scored another.
Dominique Malonga (Cavalry FC)
The night looked set up to be a frustrating one for Malonga, who took six of Cavalry’s nine shots, finally managing to score on the last of them (the penalty). He made two key passes and moved the ball well, with a 93.3% passing accuracy. Kudos to him for stepping up to score a spot kick at such a high-pressure moment in the match.
Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson (Forge FC)
Credit is obviously due to the midfielder for being brave enough to face down a penalty in the last minute like he did, and even more credit is due for coming respectably close to stopping it. Aside from that, Achinioti-Jonsson was all over the pitch for Forge, cutting off passes in both halves and distributing the ball with impressive confidence.