‘They have quite the cushion’: Smyrniotis on Cavalry’s strong Spring start

HAMILTON – If you’re Forge FC, the only way to describe Sunday’s last-gasp loss to Cavalry would be “heartbreaking.”

In the dying seconds of injury time, Cavalry substitute Nico Pasquotti buried the winner to cap off a thrilling 2-1 match.

After the game, Pasquotti was, predictably, thrilled with scoring the biggest goal of the season (so far): “It was awesome. It was so big for me,” he told reporters after the match. “I was waiting for the chance to show what I could do and it helped us come out on top.”

Still smiling while enjoying a post-game snack, the Cavalry striker had to give some credit to the way Forge played, describing his opponent on the day as “a great team.”

“They’re going to be a handful this season,” Pasquotti said. “But overall everyone is pretty happy for me. It was a good moment, in a huge win and overall, we have certainly set a standard to the start of the year.”

That, they have. After the victory, Cavalry now sits atop the table with 9 points, having won all three of the team’s opening three matches of the 2019 CPL campaign.

“They’re (Cavalry FC) off to a good start and have given themselves quite the cushion,” Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis said of Cavalry after the match. “But we’re already moving on and focusing on Thursday’s match (against Valour).”

Smyrniotis noted that the rematch between Forge and Cavalry on June 22nd will now be even more important, but added that “every team will see that in such a short season. Things can swing back and forth whether that be in your favour or not in your favour very quickly.”

That back-and-forth swaying of favour didn’t help Forge FC today, though.

After the loss, Smyrniotis clearly had some frustrations with the run of play that eventually led to the winning goal.

“The one discussion I had with the 4th referee was that it was about the 5th time Cavalry moved the ball from the actual spot of the foul by about 10 yards,” Smyrniotis said. “You can’t have a double advantage in the game and that was my discussion with them. These little things make a difference.”

So, how do you brush off a loss in such dramatic fashion?

“(Since) you have no chance to react or respond when they score a goal right at the end, after a game like this you just have to let the guys cool down on their own,” Smyrniotis explained. “I think that’s important. They put in a good effort.”