Final Score: Forge FC 3-1 Valour FC Goalscorers: Pacius 40', Campbell 67' ,90+4' ; Dyer 23' Game of the 2022 season: 63 CPL match: 313
Match in a minute or lessForge FC got a measure of revenge on Valour FC for a defeat suffered at Tim Hortons Field late last month, winning yet another tightly contested fixture 3-1. Terran Campbell was back in the goals for the first time in three months, as his double off the bench handed the Hamilton side victory. Woobens Pacius added his eighth of the season on a brilliant volley, while Valour's Moses Dyer also kept pace in the league's Golden Boot race with his seventh. The loss ended Valour's four-game unbeaten run. For Forge, on the other hand, it was their third straight victory and puts them up into third place in the league standings for the time being.
Campbell finally breaks his goal drought with a brace When combining playoffs and the regular season, Terran Campbell has now scored more goals than any other player in Canadian Premier League history. But he certainly took his time passing former FC Edmonton striker Easton Ongaro, going three months and 530 minutes without a goal. Coincidentally, his only two goals of the season before today came against Ongaro's former side in a match back on April 23. Ongaro, it is worth noting, still has one more regular season goal than Campbell, while Golden Boot leader Alejandro Diaz of Pacific FC is hot on the heels of both records. Campbell has been putting in some excellent work for Forge of late, showing off his positional and tactical flexibility. But for a striker, it is all about the goals, so scoring two against Valour should do wonders for his confidence. "It is massive for him," said Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis. "He is working his rear end off in training and I can tell you in training he is automatic, the ball goes in. He is an excellent finisher and sometimes just a little bit of that confidence, that's what it is for strikers." As a clear example of what confidence can do for a player, Smyrniotis pointed at Woobens Pacius, who scored his fifth goal in three matches from a brilliant spinning half-volley that is sure to be up for goal of the week. If some of that swagger can translate into Campbell's game Forge is going to continue adding to their league-leading 31 goals scored in a hurry. "I hope today that has put a little bit of a smile on his face because he's a guy who is going to score a lot of goals for us, he is going to score a lot of goals in this league and when he moves beyond this league, because he has all the quality in the world. As an excellent box striker, a guy who can play on the outside, so I'm very happy for him and it keeps on creating good competition for the team but also options, as we get into the tight part of the schedule." That attacking flexibility is something that Campbell believes will serve the club well going forward, and he is ready to continue to play his part within that. "I think all of us bring a little bit of something different to the table," he said. "I think that we can work off one another's qualities. So just having that variety within the group is something nice." Scoring two goals was big for him, he said, but there was another number that was bigger to him on the day. "Of course, it is always good to score goals so from that point it was a good feeling to score again," said Campbell. "But most importantly I'm happy we got the three points, today was a big game for us so happy to get the three points."
In-game adjustments again pay dividends for flexible Forge FC For moments today, Forge FC must have felt a distinct sense of déja-vu. They dominated possession and chances against Valour at home, but conceded first against the run of play. Despite 34 final third entries and 18 touches in the Valour box, they managed just a single shot on target. Early in the second half, Valour then caused Forge further issues with a well-organized press that led to the Hamilton side struggling in possession. As a result, Forge had limited chances through the first part of the half. So as he has done many times this season, Smyrniotis decided to make a tactical shift by bringing on Ashtone Morgan, pushing Kwasi Poku further up the field and introducing Campbell as well to replace Tristan Borges and Pacius. "Even at half-time we talked about maybe them stepping up a little bit more, because they do a good job at that," said Smyrnitios. "I just thought a lot of times we were just going to the wrong side of the field, and we had discussed that beforehand for some reason the guys picked a different route to do things and there was an easier route to do it." Here is a look at the unsuccessful passes Forge made in their defensive half during the second half before and after the double substitution that brought on Ashtone Morgan and Terran Campbell. The before shows a number of short passes that were picked off by Valour in dangerous areas through the first 19 minutes of the half, while the remaining 26 most of those were inconsequential longball interceptions. While Morgan's introduction helped Forge to be better in possession, Campbell allowed them to shift tactically in a different way, which also explains the number of long balls shown in the second graphic. "You know that Valour has played a couple of nights ago in Ottawa, we can see a little bit of fatigue," said Smyrniotis. "Maybe we wanted to be a little more vertical and quick in the way we attacked as opposed to spreading things out wide." Kyle Bekker took advantage of that fatigue three minutes after Morgan and Campbell were introduced, taking the ball away from Kévin Rondon, before patiently finding Campbell to give Forge its winning goal.
Tough end to a positive stretch for Valour FC during their Ontario road trip Valour has spent a lot of time in Ontario over the past month. Four of their five matches played have in the province, including two trips to Tim Hortons Field, and one each to Ottawa and York. While today wasn't the conclusion the Winnipeg side wanted to their trip, it was a mostly positive outing nonetheless. "At the end of the day we still have to look at the fact that it is 10 points out of the 15, with that one home game," said Valour FC head coach Phil Dos Santos, "So we need to look at it in a positive way." The last leg of their trip was made particularly difficult by their match in Ottawa being shifted from the weekend to mid-week due to Covid-19 protocols. That extra travel perhaps showed in some of the mistakes Valour made in the second half, despite an excellent level of effort on the day. "Things were thrown at us in a way where we had to deal with it," said Dos Santos. "It is disappointing that we weren't able to finish it off, I think that when there is fatigue and accumulated fatigue it can blur certain decisions and I just feel that overall you come here, you play a game where yeah Hamilton had the ball in a lot of spells, but I don't think they were creating very clear chances, and it is disappointing when you give away the second goal the way we did, in a game where we knew we didn't want to overplay in our own half." Here is a look at that second goal, where Bekker dispossesses Rendón just outside of his own area. Valour now has an important stretch, where they play three straight home matches. Dos Santos has been adamant all season that what his side does on the road does not matter if they cannot take care of business at home. Valour is tied with Cavalry for the fewest home matches played so far this season but is also less enviably tied with York and Edmonton for least home points with just eight from six matches.
CanPL.ca Player of the MatchTerran Campbell, Forge FC He was only introduced in the 64the minute and didn't have all that many touches or tackles. But goals change games, and Campbell's positioning and finishing were perfect when they needed to be today.
What’s next?Forge travels to Alberta this week for a midweek matchup with Cavalry FC on Wednesday July 27 at 9:00 p.m. ET. Valour, meanwhile, begin a three-game homestand with a match on Saturday, July 30 against Pacific (2:00 p.m. CT). Watch all matches live on OneSoccer. In addition to its website and app, OneSoccer is now available on TELUS channel 980 and on Fubo TV. Call your local cable provider to ask for OneSoccer today.