Forge FC have work to do in the second leg of their Concacaf League quarterfinal tie, after they fell 3-1 to Santos de Guápiles on Wednesday in the first match in San José, Costa Rica. With usual striker Mo Babouli suspended due to a red card in the last outing, Forge opted for a front three with previous Concacaf League hero David Choinière, Panamanian attacker Omar Browne, and Costa Rica native Joshua Navarro in his return to his home country. The match started with a feverish pace, both sides getting up and down the pitch quickly. After conceding a couple of early corners, Forge found the net first in the sixth minute, as Jonathan Grant slipped an excellent through ball to Navarro, who passed it into the middle of the box where captain Kyle Bekker was waiting for a powerful finish. Forge's lead was short-lived, though; just six minutes later, Santos equalized as a free kick from the top of the box found the head of Jamaican international Javon East to beat Forge 'keeper Triston Henry. Then, just five minutes after that, Santos scored again, as Christopher Meneses took a shot from distance that deflected fortuitously off defender Dominic Samuel and in. Santos continued to press for much of the first half, with a handful of dangerous set-piece opportunities that Forge managed to defend, but the sides went into the dressing rooms with the hosts up 2-1 at halftime.
RELATED READING: Match Analysis: Santos de Guápiles 3-1 Forge FC -- Concacaf League
Coming out of the break, it was Santos finding the net next as well. They pushed upfield quickly again, and sent a cross into the box where they outnumbered the Forge defenders. Brayan López ultimately got on the end of the final pass for an easy finish, to make it 3-1 in the 52nd minute. Looking to find another away goal before time expired, Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis made a couple of attacking substitutions around the hour mark, as Emery Welshman and Woobens Pacius came on for David Choinière and Omar Browne. Although Forge had a handful of moments that drew groans of disbelief from their bench, as they came ever so close to scoring in the final 15 minutes, they ultimately couldn't find the net again. As it stands, they'll head into the second leg at Tim Hortons Field two goals down, although the away goal they scored on Wednesday could certainly help them out. BOX SCORE Goals 6' -- Kyle Bekker (Forge FC) 12' -- Javon East (Santos de Guápiles) 17' -- Christopher Meneses (Santos de Guápiles) 52' -- Brayan López (Santos de Guápiles) Discipline 34' -- Yellow: Christopher Meneses (Santos de Guápiles) 41' -- Yellow: Dominic Samuel (Forge FC) 72' -- Yellow: Jonathan Grant (Forge FC) 80' -- Yellow: Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson (Forge FC) 90+2' -- Yellow: Daniel Krutzen (Forge FC)