A pair of late goals quickly cancelled one another out on Saturday in Edmonton, with Forge FC and FC Edmonton splitting points in a dreary 1-1 draw at Clarke Stadium.
Both sides seemed circumspect through the first half, combining for just seven touches in the opposition’s box. A speculative effort from Forge skipper Kyle Bekker was the lone attempt on goal for the visitors in the first frame.
A set of second-half attacking substitutions came — with the likes of Tristan Borges and Anthony Novak for Forge, Randy Edwini-Bonsu and Easton Ongaro for FC Edmonton entering play — as both sides looked to avoid the stalemate.
Forge would do exactly that in the 85th minute, when FCE’s Conor James and Amer Didic collided on a ball played towards the back. Anthony Novak smashed it towards goal on a tight angle, with teammate Bekker getting a touch as the ball crossed the line.
Edmonton would find an answer just moments after with another substitute striker, Easton Ongaro. The big man nodded home a tying goal in the 89th minute, his first as a professional, off of a free-kick from Didic.
The Eddies will next play game three of a four-game homestand on Wednesday as they host HFX Wanderers FC (9:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer). Forge, on the other hand, will turn their attention to a completely new competition, as they enter the CONCACAF League. They’ll host Guatemalan side Antigua GFC on Thursday, August 1 to open their two-legged tie (6:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).
86′ – Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
89′ – Easton Ongaro (FC Edmonton)
Three Key Performers
Easton Ongaro (FC Edmonton)
FCE’s oversized forward was clinical; finding space on the set play and heading home his lone chance. Rescuing a point for his side at the death.
Jeannot Esua (FC Edmonton)
As the Eddies looked wide to create, Esua was ready to take up the tasks. A rare attacking threat, Esua mustered seven crosses and a team-leading 85 touches from the right side. His long throws helped create chances late-on, too.
Giuliano Frano (Forge FC)
Forge’s utility man had a shutdown day at right fullback while working well on the overlap, just like Esua on the opposite side. Five tackles and two key passes, Frano managed to move the ball well in less-than-ideal conditions.