‘We need to be brave’: Paulus calls for more amid Eddies’ scoreless run

When will Edmonton find the back of the net again?

After a 2-0 loss to Forge FC in Hamilton on Wednesday, it’s now three games and counting for the Eddies’ offence. Three games without a goal. And, on Wednesday, the Eddies generated but one shot on goal. One.

Coach Jeff Paulus said he was happy with the way that the Eddies started the match, but he was frustrated that his team refused to provide service to six-foot-three striker Tomi Ameobi in the Forge penalty area. The Eddies didn’t use their size advantage that they have over Forge — heck, the size advantage they have over everyone else in the league.

“We got the ball in good places, I thought we started better than we had in previous games, but we refused to put the ball into the box,” Paulus said. “We’d stop and move it backwards, which gave them the time to organize.”

He also said it was the first time that Ameobi and Belgian forward Oumar Diouck had started together, and it will take time for them to build chemistry.

Meanwhile, Forge got a first-half penalty-kick opener from Tristan Borges, and a second-half near-post headed effort from Daniel Krutzen. And, Borges had three other golden chances to score, but Connor James in the Edmonton goal made a series of excellent saves to keep the score respectable.

Borges has been arguably the most snakebitten player in the league this season, when it comes to having chances saved or go off the post. He deserved a hat trick on Wednesday.

Borges’s penalty finish came after referee Mathieu Souaré ruled that he had been brought down by centre back Kareem Moses.

“We talked about how we couldn’t let Borges cut inside. He’s a dangerous player,” Paulus said. “We worked on that in training. And, on that play, he beats not one but two defenders.”

The win gives Forge a healthy margin in the battle for the Canadian Premier League’s CONCACAF League spot. The Hamilton team, the Eddies and Valour FC are in a spring season mini-league to determine which team will get Canada’s second spot in CONCACAF competition. Forge now has two wins, and a three-point gap over the Eddies and a six-point bulge over Valour.

Meanwhile, the Eddies host Valour on Saturday — and we’re all going to be asking: When is the next goal going to come?

Paulus said he needs more of his players to show the urgency showed by substitute David Doe, who came on late in the game and was willing to run at defenders.

“We need to to have tempo, and we need to be brave,” Paulus concluded.