HIGHLIGHTS: Forge keep Fall title pace against 10-man Valour

Forge FC retook top spot in the CPL’s Fall standings Thursday with a 3-1 win over Valour FC at IG Field and, therefore, completing a season sweep of Valour, with a 5-0-0 record, and extending their unbeaten run to nine matches.

Goals came early at IG Field, the site of Valour’s record-setting 8-0 loss to Cavalry just 10 days prior, with Forge potting back-to-back goals after 15 minutes. Valour killer Anthony Novak finished a beautifully-worked, one-touch sequence to score his fourth goal against VFC this year, only for Chris Nanco to convert on a fast break moments later.

Bizarre scenes followed in the 26th minute when Valour defender Adam Mitter intentionally handled the ball before it crossed the line, earning himself a red card and awarding Forge a penalty. Tristan Borges finished the spot-kick, putting the visitors up 3-0 in half an hour.

Down to 10 men, Valour continued to be pressured hard by Forge’s quick passing, possession-based game.

Rob Gale’s side came out more promising in the second half, eventually pulling one back after 70 minutes when 18-year-old Tyler Attardo finished a smooth attacking sequence at the back post. Marco Bustos was inches away from grabbing another in the 85th minute when a cut-in-and-shoot attempt ricocheted off the post.

However, Forge would hold on for the win to leapfrog Cavalry FC for top spot in the Fall with 23 points from 10 matches.

Valour FC will head to Ontario next, taking on York9 FC at York Lions Stadium on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT, available on OneSoccer). Forge also returns to action Sunday, hosting HFX Wanderers FC at Tim Hortons Field. (1:00 p.m. ET, available on OneSoccer).

Box Score

15′ – Anthony Novak (Forge FC)
16′ – Chris Nanco (Forge FC)
27′ – Tristan Borges (Forge FC)
70′ – Tyler Attardo (Valour FC)

43′ Yellow – Marco Bustos (Valour FC)
26′ Red – Adam Mitter (Valour FC)
33′ Yellow – Dylan Carreiro (Valour FC)
37′ Yellow – Giuliano Frano (Forge FC)

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Three key performers

Anthony Novak (Valour FC)

Forge’s bulky centre forward scored his fourth against Valour on the season. He was unlucky not to score a second, too, after creating the play that led to Mitter’s sending off.

Tristan Borges (Forge FC)

Goal and an assist Thursday, Borges followed up a smooth pass to Novak with a well-placed penalty. That goal, his ninth on the season, brings Borges one away from the top of the CPL’s golden boot leaderboard.

Dylan Carreiro (Valour FC)

Valour’s attacking midfielder showed resilience as his side went down 3-0, eventually setting up Attardo with a superb assist.