Forge FC preserved their hopes for the CPL’s first Spring title and, in turn, put the league-leading Cavalry FC on notice Saturday, breaking the Cavs’ unbeaten run with a 1-0 win at Spruce Meadows in Calgary.
The “six-pointer” between No. 1 and No. 2 in the CPL standings put Forge closer to the heights Cavalry has reached in the CPL’s inaugural stanza. Here’s how Forge could complete the comeback and how Cavalry can still finish what they started as early as Wednesday.
How could Cavalry win?
Points: 21 Games Left: 2 – York9 FC (A) & Pacific FC (A)
Despite Saturday’s loss, Cavalry is still very much in pole position to take the Spring crown; two points ahead of Forge with a game at hand, the 7-1-0 Cavs need only two points from their final two matches to clinch a spot in the CPL Championship this fall.
In other words, either one win or two draws would put them at or beyond an unmatchable 23 points, as Forge can only peak at 22 if they win on Wednesday against FC Edmonton.
The Cavs will, however, be forced to pick up their points on the road at York9 FC and Pacific FC. Saturday’s match at Spruce Meadows was their only chance to win the title at home.
How could Forge win?
Points: 19 Games Left: 1 – FC Edmonton (A)
With just one match go, needing all three points to keep pace, it’s a bit more straightforward for Forge.
If they fail to win away to Edmonton, it’s over. If they do win, they need previously-undefeated Cavalry to collect at most one point in their final two matches to have a shot; two losses would give Forge an outright win, while a draw and a loss would see the two sides tied at 22 points.
In that event, Cavalry and Forge would be equal in the CPL’s first tiebreaker with seven wins apiece. After that, we go to goal differential. Forge would have the advantage here as both sides are tied on +9 heading into the final week.
Additional tiebreakers, if necessary, are (in order): total goals for, away goals differential, away goals for, home goals differential, home goals for, followed by a coin toss or drawing of lots.
But before that, all focus will be on Wednesday, as both sides are in action.
Funny enough, Cavalry will wrap up their match in York Region just before Forge kicks off, putting Bobby Smyrniotis and co. in an interesting position considering a Cavalry win would knock them out of contention.
It could all come to an end on the final day of the Spring season – July 1. Canada Day. Doesn’t get much better than that.