Cavalry FC earns spot in Qualifying Round 3 with 2:1 victory over Forge FC

Cavalry FC advanced to Qualifying Round 3 of the Canadian Championship with a 2:1 victory (3:2 on aggregate) over Forge FC at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, […]

Cavalry FC advanced to Qualifying Round 3 of the Canadian Championship with a 2:1 victory (3:2 on aggregate) over Forge FC at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, AB on 11 June. The two Canadian Premier League sides had previously played to a dramatic 1:1 draw in the first leg in Hamilton. They will face Vancouver Whitecaps in Round 3 on 10 July and 24 July for the chance to move on to the semi-final. Cavalry qualified for Qualifying Round 2 with a decisive 4:1 aggregate victory over Pacific FC in May while Forge FC entered the competition in Round 2.

The away team put pressure on Cavalry early in the match, controlling most of the possession and limiting the home side’s opportunities. Forge’s Kwame Awuah was put in clear on goal by a pass from Daniël Krutzen but his shot was straight at Cavalry keeper Nikolas Giantsopoulos who made the save (12’). Just two minutes later, Forge captain Kyle Bekker put the away side up 0:1 with a cool finish past Giantsopoulos off the pullback from David Choinière on the goal line (14’). Kwame Awuah nearly doubled the lead in the 28’ with a strong shot from distance but Giantsopoulos was equal to the challenge, pushing the shot away from danger.

The home side’s first quality chance of the match came in the 31’. Niko Pasquotti did well to cut back and beat a Forge defender and was able to put in a cross to the far post but José Escalante mishit his strike and it did not challenge the goalkeeper. In the 36’, Forge keeper Triston Henry denying Dominique Malonga’s strong long-range strike. Cavalry’s pressure late in the half paid off, as the home side tied the match 1:1 in the 41’, when Malonga headed home the perfectly placed cross from Escalante.

Cavalry carried the momentum they had built late in the first half into the second, taking control of the match and controlling more and more of the possession. Pasquotti once again created space for himself in the Forge penalty area and was able to put in a low, hard cross that Sergio Camargo converted with one touch to give the home side the 2:1 lead (58’).

Forge pushed forward in search of the second away goal that would tie the match at 2 and advance them through to QR3 but were unable to break down the defence of Cavalry FC and Giantsopoulos didn’t have many saves to make in the second half.

Cavalry FC’s starting XI featured just one change to the lineup that faced Forge FC in the first leg, with Jose Escalante joining Dominique Malonga and Canadian Nico Pasquotti up front. Julian Büscher, Elijah Adekugbe and Canadian Sergio Camargo combined to form the midfield. The defensive line was backstopped by Canadian goalkeeper Nikolas Giantsopoulos and defenders Nathan Mavila and Canadians Dominick Zator, Dean Northover, and captain Mason Trafford.

Cavalry coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. brought on Canadian Carlos Patino for Escalante in the 74’. Malonga was replaced by Jordan Brown (83’) and Canadian Joel Waterman came on for Büscher (89’).

Forge FC’s Starting XI featured Canadian keeper Triston Henry behind the backline of Bertrand Owundi Eko’o, Daniël Krutzen, and Canadians Dominic Samuel and Giuliano Frano. The midfield was formed by Alexander Achinioti Jönsson, Elimane Cissé and Canadian Kyle Bekker who captained the side. Canadian forwards Tristan Borges and David Choinière, and Kwame Awuah rounded out the attack for the away side.

Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis made a double substitution in the 62’, bringing on Canadians Jace Kotsopoulos and Kadell Thomas for Awuah and Choinière. Canadian Klaidi Cela entered the match for Frano (80’).

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