Forge FC were knocked out of the CONCACAF League on Tuesday, falling on penalties to Haitian side Arcahaie FC.
Most of the first half was stereotypical CONCACAF soccer — Arcahaie’s gameplan seemed to involve sitting back and defending, making it physical with heavy challenges, and clearing the ball down the pitch when possible.
It was frustrating for Forge, but after 45 minutes of trying to break down the opposing defence, they would finally find their breakthrough in stoppage time. After Mo Babouli was fouled in the box, Daniel Krutzen stepped up and smashed home a penalty.
Krutzen nearly made it 2-0 moments after the break, firing a free kick off the crossbar.
That goal could’ve been crucial for The Hammers, as less than ten minutes later, Arcahaie equalized on an error from Triston Henry. Instead of clearing the ball, the Forge goalkeeper decided to take a couple of touches, before Kervens Jolicoeur blocked his kick.
The deflection rolled into the net, making it 1-1.
Immediately after the goal there was a six or seven minute break while the referees tried to fix one of the nets with zip-ties. After that, whatever momentum the teams had was gone, and the rest of regular time was pretty uneventful.
Like they did for most of the game, Forge looked like the better team, but couldn’t find a goal, so this one went to penalties.
Up first, Krutzen failed to replicate his success from the spot in the first half, as his effort was saved. The second Forge penalty, from Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson, was also saved, while their Haitian opponents scored both of their first two. David Edgar gave Forge a shot by burying the third penalty, but Olnick Alesy replied with a goal of his own, making it 3-1 after three kicks each.
Mo Babouli scored Forge’s fourth spot-kick, but Ose Charles slotted home the winner immediately after, sending Arcahaie FC into the semifinal, and the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.
Forge, however, aren’t done just yet. They’ll play the loser of Club Deportivo Marathón — from Honduras — versus Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa in a week with the winner getting a spot in the 2021 Champions League.