‘They punished us’: Valour errors prove costly in 2-0 defeat

Two mistakes. Two mistakes by Valour FC will be looked upon as the reason that Forge FC left Winnipeg with three points in a 2-0 victory at IG Field on Thursday.

Anthony Novak opened the scoring in the eighth minute, rounding Valour goalkeeper Tyson Farago after a nearly half-field breakaway. Following a Valour corner kick, poor coverage left the Forge forward all alone.

Tristan Borges doubled the lead in the 69th minute, with a well-placed shot after a Skylar Thomas pass was intercepted by Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, who found Borges at the top of the box.

So, was it really two mistakes by Valour FC, or a team that converted their scoring opportunities? It depends on who you ask.

“Yeah… They didn’t break us down,” Valour FC head coach Rob Gale said on the OneSoccer post-match show when asked if it came down to his team’s own errors. “So it’s just mistakes and they punished us, caught us on the counter, schoolboy error for the first goal.”

Gale’s players felt the same way about the match. Valour had plenty of possession and a pair of good scoring chances in each half. But in the early hours of reflection, it’s the chances they gave to Forge that will stand out.

“That’s what football comes down to — it’s the opportunities you get and they got two chances and two goals,” Valour midfielder Marco Bustos said. “It comes down to a few errors but we look at it as a collective group and don’t pick out any individual.”

A much different perspective down the hall as Forge FC celebrates taking the chances put in front of them and then shutting the door for a big win on the road.

“We had a lot of chances, and I think that was what we deserved,” Forge winger Tristan Borges said post-match. “The big focus going into this game was knowing how to close it out and that’s exactly what we did today.”

For Forge (2-1-2), the victory moves them into second place in the Spring Season on seven points, two back of Cavalry FC.

On top of three points in the standings, the win marks the first points for Forge in CONCACAF League qualifying. Forge, Valour and FC Edmonton’s head-to-head results in the Spring Season will determine who represents the league for the first time on an international stage. Valour is still winless in these types of matches after a 2-1 loss to Edmonton on May 4.

And it will be a long period of reflection for the Winnipeg side. The loss ends a run of five matches in the first 16 days of the season for Valour FC, posting two wins and three losses over that stretch. Valour does not play again until June 1 when they visit FC Edmonton (6:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. MT/OneSoccer).

“Not ideal,” Gale said of the result and looming break. “We gotta rebound and use it for work. This will be a time, with all our squad, to do some work.”

The time off will be welcome for the walking wounded in Winnipeg. Both Michael Petrasso (leg) and Adam Mitter (shoulder) did not dress on Thursday but could be back in the squad when the next series of matches roll around.

Forge will have the weekend off before shifting to face 905 Derby opponent York9 FC (4 p.m. ET/OneSoccer) on Saturday, May 25 in the first CPL match at York Lions Stadium.