Forge FC beat MLS side CF Montréal to advance to TELUS Canadian Championship semifinal

For the first time in club history, Forge FC defeated Major League Soccer opposition on Wednesday night, beating CF Montréal 2-1 at Stade Saputo to win the two-legged TELUS Canadian Championship quarter-final tie 3-2 on aggregate.

Forge entered the away leg on level footing after a 1-1 draw at Tim Hortons Field two weeks prior. Unfazed by playing on the road, though, they jumped out to a strong start and took control of the tie.

Daniel Parra opened the scoring in the 14th minute, as Sebastian Breza got his hands on the Mexican fullback’s shot but deflected it in at the near post.

Ten minutes later, the Hamilton club doubled their advantage as Malcolm Duncan sent a long ball forward to Kwasi Poku on the break. Poku held off his defender and flipped the ball over an approaching Breza to make it 2-0.

The evening took an unexpected turn at halftime, as the skies in Montréal opened up and lightning in the sky sent the match into a weather delay. Although the match was suspended almost two hours, the sides resumed action as Forge sought to hold onto their lead.

Montréal claimed a goal back in the 67th minute after a flurry of chances to open the second half; former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama got a head on a cross from a corner to make it 2-1.

From there, the MLS side threw all they possibly could at their CPL foe in an effort to save themselves, needing two more goals to win the tie. However, an immense effort from the Forge defence held Montréal at bay and the Hammers won, 2-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

This is the third time ever that a CPL side has knocked an MLS team out of the Canadian Championship, and the first time it has happened to CF Montréal. The most recent instance was 2021, when Pacific FC defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps. Cavalry FC knocked the Whitecaps out of the competition in 2019, and also beat them 1-0 on Tuesday night but were eliminated on away goals.

Forge now advance to the semifinals for the third time in club history, and they’ll await next week’s remaining quarter-final match to know who they will play for a spot in the final. Their possible opponents include MLS sides Toronto FC and the Whitecaps, as well as either Atlético Ottawa or Pacific FC of the CPL.

The semifinals are set to be played in the summer, with the first leg slated for July 9-10 and the second leg Aug. 27-28.