HIGHLIGHTS: Cavalry battles back to eliminate Forge in CanChamp

CALGARY – Despite opening the scoring, Forge FC are heading home from Spruce Meadows empty-handed, falling 2-1 to Cavalry FC on Tuesday, as the Cavs took the Canadian Championship second round tie 3-2 on aggregate.

Things looked a little dicey for the home side early on, as Kyle Bekker scored with a tidy finish in the 12th minute, giving Forge a precious away goal and a 2-1 aggregate lead. In fact, Forge dominated the whole first half, with six shots and a number of chances that they couldn’t capitalize on.

Cavalry managed to sneak into halftime on level terms, though, as Dominique Malonga found the back of the net with a header off a perfect cross by Jose Escalante. Tied at the break, the Cavs came out firing in the second 45 minutes, turning the game on its head and seizing the upper hand.

Their winner came in the 58th minute, as Sergio Camargo tipped in a good pass by Nico Pasquotti from the right side of the box. Forge, shell-shocked after Cavalry’s sudden resurgence, couldn’t generate any major chances in the next half hour as the home team resumed their characteristic smothering style. The Cavs themselves were frustrated not to add another goal to their tally, with several solid opportunities, but in the end they didn’t need another.

The Vancouver Whitecaps of MLS now await Cavalry, as they’re the first CPL team to progress to the third round of this year’s Canadian Championship.

Both clubs are right back at it this weekend, taking part in Saturday’s CPL triple-header. Cavalry will head north to take on Al Classico rivals FC Edmonton at Clarke Field (2:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer), while Forge head back home to Hamilton to host Valour FC (5:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer)

Box Score

13′ – Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
41′ – Dominique Malonga (Cavalry FC)
58′ – Sergio Camargo (Cavalry FC)

59′ – Yellow Card – Jose Escalante (Cavalry FC)
60′ – Yellow Card – Nathan Mavila (Cavalry FC)
68′ – Yellow Card – Daniel Krutzen (Forge FC)
95′ – Yellow Card – Nikolas Giantsopoulos (Cavalry FC)

Three Key Performers

Jose Escalante (Cavalry FC)

Returning to start after coming on as a sub last week, Escalante was key to Cavalry’s attack. He served up an inch-perfect ball to Dominique Malonga for the first goal, one of seven crosses he attempted, and he took three shots himself.

Dominique Malonga (Cavalry FC)

Cavalry’s opening goal-scorer continued the good run of form he’s been on since his first CPL goal a few weeks ago against HFX Wanderers. His uncontested headed finish was very clean, and he did well to hold up play and lay the ball off to his fellow attackers with his 90% passing accuracy.

Elimane Cissé (Forge FC)

There’s a fair argument for Kyle Bekker being Forge’s best player on the night, but the numbers do not lie. Despite the loss, Cissé put on a clinic in midfield possession, making a team-high 42 passes with a stunning 100% accuracy. He also made four tackles and four interceptions for Forge.