Forge FC were crowned the first winners of the North Star Shield on Saturday evening, beating Cavalry FC 1-0 (2-0 on aggregate), and earning a berth in the CONCACAF League in the process.
Bringing a 1-0 advantage into Spruce Meadows, Forge put on a defensive masterclass in this one, preventing a strong Cavalry side from taking advantage of their many scoring chances.
Cavalry had the first good chance of the match in the 13th minute, as Dominique Malonga headed the ball over the bar, one of several looks at goal he had on the day.
Teammate Dominick Zator had a similar chance later in the half, but he too sent his shot high, leaving Cavalry frustrated and trailing on aggregate at the break.
Cavalry swing in a promising free kick. @zator94 can't quite get enough on it to be a threat. Still no score in Calgary ❌— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) November 2, 2019
CAV 0 - 0 FOR @CPLCavalryFC | #CanPLFinals | @ForgeFCHamilton pic.twitter.com/g1QGF4njiK
Cavalry continued to dominate possession, firing cross after cross into the box, but the Forge centre-backs, David Edgar and Daniel Krutzen, turned away everything that came their way.
Malonga had another open header at the start of the second half, this time managing to keep it down, but it bounced over Triston Henry’s goal and out of bounds.
In the 68th minute, Forge FC’s favourite opposing player, Jose Escalante, came off the bench, and took a free kick with his first touch, just narrowly missing the right post.
Cavalry looking evermore threatening on the attack. @joseescalante20 enters the game to take a free kick and sends it JUST wide of the net— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) November 2, 2019
CAV 0 - 0 FOR @CPLCavalryFC | #CanPLFinals | @ForgeFCHamilton pic.twitter.com/bAqD1Qp0bd
Then, in stoppage time, Forge FC delivered the final blow, as David Choinière and Elimane Cissé sprinted the length of the pitch alone, and Choinière tucked the ball into the empty goal, earning the win and sealing the North Star Shield.