HIGHLIGHTS: Forge FC 2-2 Cavalry FC — CPL Match #2

Forge FC and Cavalry FC renewed hostilities at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday in the second game of the 2023 CPL season, and — fittingly — the two familiar foes delivered a thrilling encounter, as defending champions Forge clawed back from behind twice to draw 2-2 at home.

To open the season, Forge entered the game making three changes from the starting XI that won the 2022 CPL Final, with Manjrekar James making his debut at the back and Kwasi Poku and Jordan Hamilton lined up at left-back and centre-forward, respectively. Cavalry, meanwhile, opted for a 4-2-3-1 setup as Callum Montgomery and Shamit Shome both got their club debuts.

After a back-and-forth opening half-hour, Cavalry at last found a way through in the first half, as Ali Musse brought the ball down on the right touchline and made space for himself before curling a cross over to Joe Mason. When Mason’s attempt skipped up off the turf, Myer Bevan managed to get to it and finish with a sliding attempt.

The lead wouldn’t last long, though; Forge sent the ball over the top toward Jordan Hamilton, who found himself taken down by Cavalry ‘keeper Marco Carducci to win a penalty kick. Hamilton took the spot kick himself, finishing to the top left to equalize. That, however, wasn’t quite the final action of the first half — in classic Forge-Cavalry fashion, the physicality began to come out as Rezart Rama clattered José Escalante to earn a yellow card, followed shortly by Bevan interfering with Triston Henry to earn one of his own before halftime.

Forge came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, as Aboubacar Sissoko put the ball in the net just five minutes in but the goal was disallowed as he was offside. Spotting the early pressure against, Cavalry boss Tommy Wheeldon Jr. made a change less than 10 minutes into the frame as he gave a CPL debut to midfielder Jesse Daley in place of Charlie Trafford. The Australian wasted no time getting stuck in though, picking up his first yellow card about two minutes into his shift.

The visitors reclaimed the lead after 20 minutes of second-half action, though, as some quick passing through the middle found Miki Cantave at the top of the box. The Haitian international curled an outstanding strike over the Forge backline and into the net from well outside the penalty area.

Forge gaffer Bobby Smyrniotis turned to his bench after falling behind, deploying a pair of strikers in Woobens Pacius and Terran Campbell as well as fullback Ashtone Morgan. Wheeldon soon matched the sub by deploying Goteh Ntignee on his right wing in place of Musse.

As the game entered its final 15 minutes, Forge drew level yet again as Alessandro Hojabrpour brilliantly drove to the end line and kept it in play before cutting a cross toward goal; the deflection outward found Noah Jensen who smashed home from the top.

Both sides sought desperately for a winning goal in the final stages, with seven minutes of stoppage time, but neither was able to break the deadlock again. Terran Campbell came closest for Forge, getting past his mark and coming in on goal alone, but his shot went safely into Carducci’s hands.

The two rivals thus had to split the points, as the hard-fought match ended on level terms.



36′ — Myer Bevan (Cavalry FC)
41′ — Jordan Hamilton (Forge FC) (Penalty)
64′ — Mikaël Cantave (Cavalry FC)
76′ — Noah Jensen (Forge FC)


42′ — Yellow: Rezart Rama (Forge FC)
44′ — Yellow: Myer Bevan (Cavalry FC)
59′ — Yellow: Jesse Daley (Cavalry FC)
74′ — Yellow: David Choinière (Forge FC)
88′ — Yellow: Ashtone Morgan (Forge FC)