On a day of history in Canadian soccer, Forge FC and York9 FC walk away with a point each to mark the occasion.
There were many firsts in this match, with York9 FC striker Ryan Telfer scoring just 3 minutes into the game to notch the first goal in Canadian Premier League history … a goal that woke up the home side.
After struggling mightily in the first 10 minutes, Emery Welshman and the offensive attack of Forge quickly started to create opportunities for the home crowd.
Welshman nearly had the Hamilton faithful of 17,611 erupt after his bicycle kick attempt nearly trickled into the goal. Forge outshot York9 FC 7-3 in the first 45 minutes with only one of those shots (a Tristan Borges strike) on target.
In the second half, it was more of the same for Forge FC, with three straight chances for the Hammer capped off by an excellent strike by Tristan Borges in the 49th minute, which wired off the crossbar.
In the 60th minute, after a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play for Kadell Thomas, Welshman and Borges, York9 FC goalkeeper Nathan Ingham made the stop of the match to keep his team up by one.
Manny Aparicio also earned the first yellow card in CPL history for a tackle on Borges.
Every chance Forge had either led to a strike gone wide or Ingham being in the right spot at the right time.
Forge FC kept driving towards the net creating nearly double the chances York9 had but the Nine Stripes keeper had Smyrnitois and his squad searching for answers.
That was until the 77th minute came around.
Kadell Thomas who subbed on for Chris Nanco was a force for Forge FC in the second half and it showed after Thomas ripped one home to break the tie and knot the game at one.
York9 FC got off to a great start but Bobby Smyrniotis and his club chipped away and finally put a damper on what was a solid performance for Nathan Ingham.
In lieu of late drama, Aparicio doubled down on his history-making performance with a second yellow, becoming the first player ejected with a red card.
So, in the end, it was an exciting beginning to a brand new league, and a great beginning for what will surely be a rivalry for years to come. A 1-1 draw between cross-province rivals in the 905 Derby – until they meet again, in York Region, on May 25.
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