PREVIEW: Forge FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC – Match #42

Canadian Premier League — Match #42
Forge FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC
July 17, 2019 — Tim Hortons Field (7 p.m. ET)
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With their first Fall points in hand, Forge FC returns to Tim Hortons Field this week to take on HFX Wanderers FC for the first time in Hamilton. With the only other meeting between these two sides a 2-1 HFX win in Halifax on May 4, it’ll be an interesting litmus test for how far each club has come.

Forge defeated Pacific FC in a 3-2 barnstormer over the weekend, where their attack finally started finishing some of the multitude of chaces they created, much to coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ delight. They’re now 1-1-0 in the Fall competition, starting to once again look like the high-flying attacking team they were in early June.n

HFX, on the other hand, still hasn’t quite gotten off the ground in the Fall. They do have one win, a 1-0 home victory over York9 FC, but they haven’t looked particularly good in either of their games. They, too, are 1-1-0, losing on Saturday to a very late goal by Cavalry FC. Still, holding the Spring champions off the scoreboard for so long is no easy feat; Stephen Hart was fairly satisfied with his team’s performance in that one.

It’ll be right back at it for both these teams next Saturday, July 20. Forge gets to remain at home, as they’ll take on Valour FC at Tim Hortons Field (3:30 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer). The Wanderers continue their road swing, though, heading out to Van Isle to play Pacific FC (6:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).


  • Stay on your toes: Forge’s attack returned to form on Saturday, but they’re still having a little trouble keeping the ball out of their own net, conceding twice in both of their Fall season games. In particular, they’ve shown a tendency to be exposed on the counter-attack, which hurt them against both Pacific and FC Edmonton. That weakness poses a risk heading into a game against HFX Wanderers, one of the league’s most dangerous teams in transition. Forge’s backline cannot afford to be caught flat-footed.
  • Toothless on the road: It’s a tired narrative by now, but it won’t stop hanging over the Wanderers’ heads until they finally figure out how to play away from home. They still haven’t scored a road CPL goal yet, with a 0-0 draw and four shutout losses; it’s become a real problem for Stephen Hart’s side. Although fans may be bored of hearing how much better HFX is at home, it’ll continue to loom until they at least nick a result away from Wanderers Grounds (and Tim Hortons Field would be a very impressive place to do so).
  • Returning starpowerBoth these sides have seen key attacking players starting to return to form in the past week. HFX’s first-choice striker, Luis Alberto Perea, is finally back from injury, and although he hasn’t yet added to his CPL goal total, he was a huge difference-maker last Wednesday in the CanChamp vs. Ottawa Fury. Similarly, Tristan Borges’ two-goal game on Saturday was dominant, suggesting he could get back to his early-season form soon. Those two stars have shown an ability to change a game on their own, so either could be a huge boost to their team on Wednesday.


Forge FC: Triston Henry; Kwame Awuah, Bertrand Owundi, Daniel Krutzen, Jonathan Grant; Kyle Bekker, Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, Elimane Cisse; David Choinière, Marcel Zajac, Tristan Borges

HFX Wanderers FC: Jan-Michael Williams; Alex De Carolis, Matthew Arnone, Peter Schaale, Andre Bona; Mohamed Kourouma, Elliot Simmons, Andre Rampersad, Zachary Sukunda; Akeem Garcia, Luis Alberto Perea


May 4 – HFX Wanderers FC 2-1 Forge FC


Tristan Borges – 6 goals (Forge FC)
Akeem Garcia – 4 goals (HFX Wanderers FC)


Anthony Novak (Forge FC) – Doubtful





(Players are suspended for one match 14 days after accumulating a 4th Yellow Card)

Kadell Thomas (Forge FC) – 3
Ndzemdzela Langwa (HFX Wanderers FC) – 3


Referee: David Barrie
ARs: Chantal Boudreau & Daniel Boudreau
4th Official: Scott Bowman

Download the Centre Circle app to play predictor ahead of each match. 

Q: Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?

A: Teams, recently, have had slow starts out of the gate when it comes to offensive production. With a midweek matchup and tired legs, don’t be surprised to see this trend continue.

Q: Will a goal be scored from outside the box?

A: In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen long-range efforts from the like of Ramon Soria, Victor Blasco and Issey Nakajima-Farran all hit the net. With the set-piece emerging as an effective way to score in the CPL, look for another outside the box attempt to find the net

Q: Which team will have more headed shots?

A: Ryan Telfer is 5’11, Marcus Haber is 6’4. Height matters when you need to use your head.