2021 CPL regular season — Match #54 Forge FC vs. York United August 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm ET Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, Ontario Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here

Forge FC host York United at Tim Hortons Field on Saturday afternoon for the third 905 Derby of the season. The two sides played twice in one week for their first two matches after leaving the bubble in Winnipeg for The Kickoff. Forge won 1-0 at York Lions Stadium in the first CPL game of the season in home markets, and York got their revenge with a 1-0 away win in the second meeting at Tim Hortons Field a few days later. An early Mo Babouli goal in just the fourth minute of the first match on July 30 was enough for his side to leave with all three points, while it was Alvaro Rivero who scored for The Nine Stripes in the return fixture, before being sent off ten minutes later. Both sides are in good form, unbeaten in five and last losing to each other in those aforementioned matches. Forge have since beaten Atlético Ottawa twice, drawn HFX Wanderers once and played a pair of Concacaf League matches. They beat Salvadoran side CD FAS 3-1 in the first leg of their Preliminary Leg tie, and drew 2-2 in the second leg to move on to the next round. The home opener loss to The Hammers was York's only defeat since leaving the Winnipeg bubble, as they have since beaten Forge and HFX Wanderers, as well as drawn with Atlético Ottawa and the Wanderers. They have also picked up a massive 5-0 Canadian Championship victory -- their biggest ever win -- against League1 Ontario side Master's Futbol Academy in that span. Forge attacker Tristan Borges is the leading goalscorer in this fixture, finding the back of the net three times in his career against York. Chris Nanco and Alvaro Rivero have also scored two goals apiece, including Rivero scoring the winner the last time these teams met. There have been an impressive 19 goals in eight matches between the sides, and a match between the Ontario rivals has never ended scoreless -- with the most goals coming in a 4-0 York win at York Lions Stadium in 2019. A win on Saturday would move York within two points of Forge for the final playoff spot, while the home side could jump over third-place Valour with at least one point, or jump over second-placed Cavalry with a win, which would see them level on points with Pacific FC at the top of the table.

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  • Forge need to capitalize on chances against York: This will be the third match of the season between these two Ontario rivals, and Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis wants his side to take advantage of the opportunities his side is given -- something that they didn't do when these teams met at the start of the month at Tim Hortons Field. The Hammers had 16 shots to York's five, had nearly 70% possession, and were up a player for the final half an hour. They were probably the better team, but being the better team isn't what matters -- it's the final score, which read 1-0 to York. "If we take the last two games we played against them, we dominated the large [part] of those games," said Smyrniotis. "They've also come here to Tim Hortons Field, a game where we dominated and created the majority of the chances and high-quality opportunities, and they won 1-0. That shows the quality of their squad and we need to make sure that we're very aware of that."​
  • Brennan happy with team's growth halfway through the season: Saturday's match will be the 14th match of the season for both sides as they become the latest clubs to reach the midway point of the 2021 CPL season. York United head coach Jimmy Brennan has led a very young, but very talented, squad to a fifth-placed position entering Saturday's match, just five points back of Forge for the fourth and final playoff spot. With a win, they could move within two points of the coveted spot, which would allow them to play for the North Star Shield at the end of the regular season. Brennan's side is in great form, and are happy with how much they've grown as the season has progressed. "From where we started to where we are today, I think you've seen an awful lot of improvement within our squad," said Brennan. "You can start to see a confidence and a belief among our team, we're five games undefeated now, we're starting to come into our own. I'm pleased where we are right now... there's a lot of points to play for, a lot of games left, and we've just got to make sure we keep on improving."​
  • Daniel Krutzen back and thriving: Forge FC defender Daniel Krutzen made his first appearance in six weeks on Sunday after missing over a month through injury, coming off the bench for the final 30 minutes in a 1-1 draw. Krutzen started on Wednesday as Forge beat Atlético Ottawa 4-0, playing all 90 minutes and scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot at the end of the first half. His return is a welcome one for Forge FC, who have needed to play Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson at centre-back -- instead of his natural midfield role -- for a large stretch of the season thus far as they've dealt with injuries. "[Krutzen has] been one of our top players in our first two years, and the best defender in this league. You want those guys out there and with the group, and it's always good to get them in the lineup," said Smyrniotis about his Belgian centre-back. Krutzen said that he's working his way back up to full fitness, and happy to be back. "It felt good," said Krutzen about returning to the squad. "I've been on the sidelines for about six weeks, so it was kind of getting used to getting the full 90 in my legs again."​


Forge FC wins: 4|| York United wins: 3 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

August 4, 2021 — Forge FC 0-1 York United


"They're a pretty consistent team, a very organized group. They're a group that's comfortable on the ball, and also comfortable not being on the ball. They're a team that can play in transition quite a lot more than they have in the past, and I think that makes them an interesting team." -- Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis

"I expect them to be competitive as always. They're a good side, they're coming off a good win. It's always a good match when we play each other." -- York United head coach Jimmy Brennan

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