2022 Canadian Championship — Quarterfinals CF Montréal vs. Forge FC May 25, 2022 at 7 p.m. ET Stade Saputo in Montréal, Québec Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here

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Revenge. Rematch. Redemption. These are all words that Forge players have used in the lead-up to tomorrow's Canadian Championship quarterfinal against CF Montréal at Stade Saputo. Six months ago, they came painfully close to defeating the eventual Canadian Champions in the 2021 tournament semi-finals, eventually falling on penalties after 11 rounds of spot-kicks. They were the better side for 90 minutes in that match, but couldn't convert on their chances. In penalty kicks, goalkeeper Triston Henry saw his penalty stopped by the eventual player of the tournament, Sebastian Breza, handing Montreal victory in a heartbreaking fashion. But while the memory is still a painful one for many of the Forge players and staff, the performance, and what they learned about themselves as a club on that day, "Matches [like Montréal last year] they make your team stronger," said Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis. "You understand where your players are at, where the level is at and I think that is something that is important to growing the culture of a club."

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Smyrniotis was quick to mention that a lot has changed since last year's match for both sides. Montréal, in particular, has taken a distinct step forward and has inarguably been the best Canadian MLS side so far this season. But after going almost two months without a loss between late March and mid-May, they have dropped back-to-back 2-1 results. Forge, meanwhile, haven't exactly been their usual selves to start this season. Heading into this weekend's game against Halifax at the Wanderers Ground, they had won just once in Canadian Premier League action, 3-0 against last-place FC Edmonton. The ocean air, however, was clearly revitalizing for the Hamilton side, as they won 4-0 on Friday, the biggest win by an opponent at the Wanderers' Ground in Halifax's history. It was a vintage Forge performance, the kind that has earned them their reputation as the Canadian Premier League's most historically dominant side. "To just go in there and do what we did was great," said captain Kyle Bekker of the team's performance in Halifax. "Obviously, it is a little bit more important going into a game like [Montréal] where we have that good feeling and we can kind of come in on the front foot which is always very important." Asked if they have put in a little extra practice on the penalties this week in the lead-up to the match, Smyrniotis said that is something they never spend extra time on. "That's the secret when it comes down to these little things, you always sprinkle them to every week in training so that when you get to those moments it is nothing special, it is nothing different," said Smyrniotis. "If it gets to [penalties] it means it is a very entertaining match and we hope we are on the plus side of not getting there beforehand in the 90 minutes."


  • Road-tested Forge ready for another hostile environment: "The more the merrier," said Smyrniotis when asked about the fans at Stade Saputo tomorrow. His side has been to many of the most difficult away venues in the region over the past year, including the world-famous Estadio Azteca. They are expecting another difficult environment in Montréal, but are looking to feed off of that big game energy. "These are atmospheres that you want," said Smyrniotis. "I'm sure they will have their support behind them but the louder the stadium is the more energy it brings to a team, it brings to a home team and I think, for me, it brings to an away team. These are the types of environments you want to be playing in, these are the ones you want to be competing in."
  • Choinière vs. Choinière: After CF Montréal's Mathieu Choinière missed out on last year's meeting between the two sides, it looks like tomorrow could be shaping up as a brother vs. brother matchup. Both will come into the game in fine form, as Mathieu has been excellent for Montréal so far this year, while David had a pair of goals this weekend for Forge in their win against Halifax. "If both of them are on the field tomorrow it is a special moment for the two of them," said Smyrniotis. "Those are the great stories of football, and I think of sport when we look at the global picture. It is two teams. and two different Choinières, trying to beat each other like they did when they were probably younger in their backyard and playing back home in Québec".
  • Forge will once again be underdogs against a very good CF Montréal side: One thing that is for certain, is that this will be a much better Montréal side than Forge faced last year. Mired in an MLS playoff run last October, Montréal chose to rest several key starters during that semi-final. Even if they choose to do that again, they are a deeper and better squad than they were last season. They are also now equipped with a genuine star in the form of 23-year-old American international Djordje Mihailovic, who has had a breakout campaign with seven goals and three assists in 13 matches so far this MLS season. Canadian men's national team fans will also be familiar with several of the Montréal players, including Kamal Miller, Alistair Johnston and Samuel Piette.


CF Montréal Wins: 1 | Forge Wins: 0 | Draws: 0

Previous Match

October 27, 2021 -- Forge 0-0 CF Montréal (7-8 on pens.)


"I wouldn't say there is any revenge by any means, we are just excited for another opportunity to play against a fantastic opponent and showcase ourselves on a bit stage" -- Forge FC Captain Kyle Bekker

"Now they've lost two games in a row after going seven undefeated, that's the swings of football. We have been playing some very good football lately and I think that makes for a very entertaining match"
-- Forge FC Head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis

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