For the first time in regular season CPL history, a match at Tim Hortons Field ended 0-0 as visiting Vancouver FC held Forge FC to a scoreless draw.
The only other matches without a single goal at home in Forge’s history came in a 0-0 draw with Independiente during the 2021 CONCACAF League, as well as that year’s CanChamp semi-final against CF Montréal, which Forge ultimately lost on penalties.
Callum Irving was full value for his first clean sheet for Vancouver FC, while Christopher Kalongo had his first career clean sheet in the Forge net.
Vancouver FC were able to cause a lot of issues early on in the match with their press, with four shot attempts in the opening 15 minutes of the match. None of them truly challenged Kalongo, who was starting in net for Forge.
In possession, Vancouver would push Nicky Gyimah up the right wing, which Forge countered by having Kwasi Poku push far up the left wing. The hosts were able to create a few solid chances from overloading that side of the pitch, but also were unable to truly find clear-cut opportunities against a defensively solid Vancouver team.
Forge, however, caused a lot of unnecessary headaches for themselves during the opening play with some uncharacteristically sloppy play on the ball. Several times they gave the ball away in poor positions in their own half, or gave away unnecessary corner kicks off defensive throw-ins due to a lack of composure.
The hosts, however, were finally able to create a clear-cut chance in the 43rd minute, as Noah Jensen found himself alone at the top of the box. The Forge midfielder, however, missed high letting Vancouver off the hook. The hosts enjoyed 70.5 per cent possession in the opening half, but the match was tied 0-0 at the half.
Forge continued to dominate possession to start the second half, while Vancouver sat deep and waited for counter-attacking opportunities. Forge came close on an effort in the 60th minute, but Callum Irving was alert in net to stop a low cross that surely would have ended up in the net behind him had he not intervened.
Needing a further injection of energy, Forge subbed in Kyle Bekker, Terran Campbell and Tristan Borges in the 64th minute. It was Jordan Hamilton, however, who had two good chances as the half wore on, first with an unmarked volley that he put just wide. He then had a header from close range that Irving swatted away.
The visitors nearly had a disaster in the 83rd minute, when a looping cross from Jensen slipped through Irving but narrowly missed the back post. Hamilton had another tough miss in the 89th minute.
Vancouver, however, held on for the first clean sheet in club history. It was a solid result for the expansion side, especially after a disheartening loss to Atlético Ottawa at home last weekend.
45′ — Yellow: Alessandro Hojabrpour (Forge FC)
47′ — Yellow: Nima Moazeni Zadeh (Vancouver FC)
50′ — Yellow: Garven Metusala (Forge FC)
88′ — Yellow: Ibrahim Bakare (Vancouver FC)
90+1′ — Yellow: Emmanuel Robe (Vancouver FC)