HAMILTON – Another game, another Tristan Borges goal to celebrate.
The Forge FC forward recorded his league-leading seventh marker on Wednesday night as his club dispatched HFX Wanderers FC at Tim Hortons Field by a 2-0 scoreline. Forge improved their record in the Fall campaign to 2-1-0 with their second straight win, while the Wanderers (1-2-0) failed once again to find a point away from home.
The match was played on Forge’s terms from the outset, as the home side dominated with 63.8% possession in the first half. They fired eight shots on target, but it wasn’t until after the half-hour mark that they managed to solve goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams.
Kyle Bekker scored first, with a long free kick from the side of the box finding its way into the goal, as Emery Welshman absorbed the keeper’s attention and allowed it to bounce through him. Just a few minutes later, it was Borges’ turn to swing in a goal from out wide, this time sailing a corner kick all the way through everyone and into the net.
Forge pulled back their attack a little in the second 45, no longer seeking a goal so aggressively, but they still had the best chance of the half. A handball in the box sent Bekker to the penalty spot, but this particular set piece was less kind to his club: HFX keeper Christian Oxner (who entered at halftime to replace an injured Williams) steered aside Bekker’s attempt.
Stephen Hart’s Wanderers pressed better than ever in the final 10 minutes, but Forge held on to preserve the clean sheet and jump into a tie for first in the Fall season standings.
Forge remains at home after this one, continuing their CPL Fall campaign on Saturday, July 20 when they’ll host Valour FC (3:30 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer). HFX now travels westward to Vancouver Island, where they’ll take on Pacific FC on Saturday afternoon (6:00 p.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. PT, on OneSoccer).
36′ – Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
40′ – Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
32′ Yellow – Akeem Garcia (HFX Wanderers FC)
86′ Yellow – Triston Henry (Forge FC)
89′ Yellow – Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
Three Key Performers
Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
What more can be said about the league’s leading goalscorer? His corner-kick Olimpico was an incredibly well-placed shot, even if the goalkeeper perhaps should’ve picked it out. HFX had no answer to Borges, who fired four shots on target and played in four crosses from the wing. He also tied for tops on his team with four tackles, which speaks to his tenacity in winning the ball back.
Jan-Michael Williams (HFX Wanderers FC)
In just one half of work, Williams still did enough to be a huge difference-maker. If not for him, Forge could’ve easily scored at least two or three more in the first half. The HFX captain made a number of stunning point-blank saves, including one he stopped with his face, and he very bravely cut down shooting angles to keep the damage to a minimum. Kudos to Oxner too, of course, for stopping Bekker’s penalty and not allowing anything in the second half.
Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
The skipper was incredibly dangerous in pulling the strings of Forge’s attack, playing an unmatched six key passes and setting up most of the one-on-one chances that Williams stopped. All three of his own shots were on target as well. Although he could’ve done better on his penalty attempt, it’s hard to ask for much more from a pretty comprehensive night for Bekker.