It was a tale of two halves on Saturday as Forge FC took all three points on Vancouver Island, beating Pacific FC 3-2.
After a scoreless first 45 minutes, both sides came out of the break firing with three goals between them in the first nine minutes and another two in the final 10.
Although the first half didn’t feature any goals, it wasn’t exactly cagey. Forge fired 15 shots at Pacific’s net, eight of them hitting their target, with the home side unable to prevent Forge from slicing through their backline. However, despite plenty of golden opportunities, Forge couldn’t make any of them count, due either to Nolan Wirth’s goalkeeping, or poor finishing.
Half-time seemed to erase both side’s scoring woes, though, as Tristan Borges scored an excellent strike from distance for Forge in the 47th minute. Pacific’s Terran Campbell brought his side level just two minutes later, and Forge responded yet again as Emery Welshman made it 2-1 in the 54th.
Pacific coach Michael Silberbauer then attempted to shore up his defence by introducing Hendrik Starostzik, making his return to the pitch after an injury that’s kept him out since near the beginning of the season. Forge struck again, though, with Tristan Borges scoring his second of the game in the 80th minute. Pacific’s Victor Blasco added another goal for the home side in the 85th minute, triggering a frenzied final few moments, but it wasn’t enough as Forge held on for the win.
Both clubs are Ontario-bound now. Forge returns home to Hamilton, where they’ll play HFX Wanderers FC on Wednesday, July 17 (7:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer). Pacific will visit York Lions Stadium for a game against York9 FC (7:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).
47′ – Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
49′ – Terran Campbell (Pacific FC)
54′ – Emery Welshman (Forge FC)
80′ – Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
85′ – Victor Blasco (Pacific FC)
5′ Yellow – Émile Legault (Pacific FC)
12′ Yellow – Marcel Zajac (Forge FC)
50′ Yellow – Emery Welshman (Forge FC)
81′ Yellow – James Merriman (Forge FC)
87′ Yellow – Jose Hernandez (Pacific FC)
92′ Yellow – Benjamin Fisk (Pacific FC)
Three Key Performers
Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
Some people were beginning to worry about Borges, as Forge’s leading scorer hadn’t found the back of the net since May 29. He responded in a major way on Saturday, scoring two excellent goals (the first especially) to reintroduce himself as an attacking star in the CPL. He also provided six key passes, assisting on Emery Welshman’s goal.
Nolan Wirth (Pacific FC)
The native of Van Isle has now started three straight for Pacific, leading some to believe he could surpass Mark Village as PFC’s number one goalkeeper. Although he conceded three in this one, he could hardly be faulted; indeed, he earned a lot of praise for making eight saves, called into action on many occasions in the first half especially.
Emery Welshman (Forge FC)
Just as this match was a return to form for Borges, so too was it for Welshman. His goal required an excellent solo effort on the counter as he took the ball at pace and finished between Wirth’s legs. He took five shots, three of which hit the target as he made an impact both on the right wing and centrally in Pacific’s 18-yard box.