After many months of waiting the first-ever Canadian Premier League finals got underway in Hamilton on Saturday, as hosts Forge FC took a narrow 1-0 lead over Cavalry FC in Leg 1 with the reverse fixture to come next weekend in Calgary. The match was a roller-coaster of emotions for both teams, with controversial red cards, a stunning Tristan Borges goal, and plenty of missed opportunities. Plus, it all played out in front of 10,486 fans at Tim Hortons Field. All is left to play for in Leg 2, as these rivals meet for the ninth and final time in 2019. We've got tons of post-match coverage of Leg 1 here at But, if a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, here are ten that tell the story of a wild inaugural CPL Finals match. RELATED READING: HIGHLIGHTS: Borges, Carducci shine in red card-laden Leg 1 tilt
1. The stage is set...

Hamilton was buzzing on Saturday with the Barton St. Battalion in full voice, as they packed out their usual corner section with flags, orange smoke, and some creative chants.
2. Welcome to the Hammer

The stadium was, for the most part, packed with orange shirts. Still, the visitors weren't without their own contingent from Calgary THF. Kudos to the travelling supporters!
3. Stay on your feet

Matches between Cavalry and Forge this year have been among the most physical clashes in the CPL, and Saturday was no different. Everyone got in on the action from both sides with no shortage of crunching tackles.
4. Caught red-handed?

Cavalry's Joel Waterman pleads his case after conceding a first-half penalty kick. According to Tommy Wheeldon Jr., the official word was an official handball. Little did Waterman know, he'd be punished with more than a penalty...
5. "Send him off, ref!"

Fans in Winnipeg have a long-standing tradition of flashing red cards to visiting players, dating back to the Winnipeg Fury days of the late '80s. Perhaps the Barton St. Battalion took a page out of Red River Rising's book on Saturday? Either way, their pleas paid off. Joel Waterman saw red moments after that handball.
6. A game of inches

The best 'keeper in the CPL? There's a good case for it. Regardless, Carducci came up big on Saturday, stopping Borges' penalty with his leg. Look how close it was!
7. Borges' left foot is gorgeous

Just minutes after missing his penalty, the CPL's Golden Boot leader redeemed himself with an excellent curled shot from the top of the box. Seconds before halftime, it's 1-0 to the home side.
8. Why can't we be friends?

Nik Ledgerwood said after the game that if two teams in a final look like they're friends, "then something's wrong." Well, nobody would be fooled into thinking these sides were overly fond of each other. The match was jam-packed with fiery disputes like this one.
9. A full team effort

Forge might not be leading this tie if it weren't for the contributions of some European talent. Daniel Krutzen stepped up with three of his fellow defenders unavailable through suspension or injury, and Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson made a much-welcomed return to the midfield.
10. Looking sharp, Tommy

The best-dressed manager in the CPL outdid himself on Saturday, with custom Cavalry suits for all the players and a pocketwatch to truly mark the occasion. His side may have come out of it a goal down, but it's all still on the table in Leg 2 at ATCO Field next Saturday.

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