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Recap & Highlights: Forge FC repeat as Canadian Premier League champions

The Hamilton-based team will take on Toronto FC in the 2020 Canadian Championship Final.

Forge FC celebrate winning the 2020 North Star Shield
Canadian Premier League/ Chant Photography

Forge FC were crowned as Canadian Premier League champions on Saturday afternoon, beating HFX Wanderers.

Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson’s header secured a second straight title for Bobby Smyrniotis’ side, who also won the inaugural North Star Shield in 2019.

There weren’t many scoring chances in the opening 45 minutes, with both sides putting in a shift defensively. Forge in particular managed to shut down Golden Boot frontrunner Akeem Garcia.

The most notable moment in the first half came right at the end. After Alessandro Riggi’s shot struck the arm of David Edgar and deflected to Garcia, the Trinidad striker fired a shot right at Triston Henry. He was called offside anyway, but HFX thought they deserved a penalty.

The referee didn’t call it, but Forge’s goal last time these two played each other came from a much weaker penalty call.

After a quicker start to the second half, Forge took the lead around the hour mark.

Following a corner, there was a scramble in the box. Mo Babouli picked up the ball to the right of Christian Oxner’s goal before curling a perfect cross onto the head of Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson, who made no mistake from a yard out.

Despite a strong push from HFX, they couldn’t find a goal as Forge sat back and wouldn’t let anything through. in the final 30 minutes.

Forge FC doubled their lead with moments left, as a long shot from Maxim Tissot caught the strong wind, took a bounce right in front of Oxner, who failed to grab it. It squeezed past him, going off the post and in, to make it 2-0.

As champions, Forge FC are not only the CPL champions, but they’ll also be entered into the 2021 CONCACAF League as the league’s representative. They will also take on Toronto FC in the 2020 Canadian Championship final for the Voyageurs Cup, with the winner of that match earning a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League on the line.

It hasn’t been announced when that match will be played, but when it does happen, it will be the first meeting between the two Ontario-based sides.