It was a big match up for FC Edmonton as second ranked Forge FC came to town to do battle. Earlier in the day some petty fans may have suggested throwing this game and allowing Forge to win so that they could potentially knock Cavalry out of first place in the Spring season. However, by the time kick off occurred Cavalry had already won their game and clinched the Spring title, making a win for Forge useless in the Spring season. That doesn’t mean Forge was going to come in and let the Eddies feel good about themselves, every point matters. If Cavalry also wins the Fall season, the team with the most combined points from Spring and Fall seasons earn a birth into the 2-legged Championship. Forge was coming in looking to bolster their point totals to leave themselves in the best position possible heading into the Fall season.
The Eddies also want to boost their point totals and continue building confidence heading into the fall season. They wanted to build off their 3-1 win against Pacific and finally bring some goal scoring back to Clarke Stadium. So far this season the Eddies have been goalless at home. Building momentum is something the Eddies definitely managed to do as they put forth a superb defensive effort and came away with a 1-0 win and a big 3 points against a much more powerful and perhaps more worthy Forge club.
Kick off was delayed by about a half-hour due to a big Thunderstorm rolling through the stadium. Because of this, the players looked fired up and anxious to go once kick off finally occurred around 7:30pm. The first 8 or so minutes seemed very fast paced, players running hastily all over the pitch trying to make something happen. Forge maintained much of the possession in the first few opening minutes but Edmonton’s defence was outstanding leaving no real good opportunities for Forge outside of a nice pass that was sky balled over the net in the 6′.
9′ – First shot on target for the game. A very hard shot from well outside the box in Forge’s favour. The ball came flying straight into the arms of Connor James the Keeper and the threat was easily eliminated.
16′ – FC Edmonton’s first offensive chance of the game as Esua had the ball along the far side and crossed it along the ground into the box where Oumar Diouck managed to get a decent touch on the ball and send it through the keeper Tristan Henry’s legs to put the Eddies up 1-0. It’s a shot that Henry would definitely like back as it managed to dribble through his 5-hole and allow an Eddies team that had so far generated no offence to take the lead early in the game. This was the Eddies first goal at home this season, a lovely sight for the Eddies supporters who came out midweek and braved the storm to support the club.
25′ – Dangerous giveaway in the Eddies own half by Didic but the rest of the Defence stands tall and eliminates any potential danger.
29′ – Didic goes down with and apparent groin injury, managed to walk off under his own power but was substituted with James Marcelin meaning Didic’s night was over rather quickly, using up one of Edmonton’s three available substitutions early in the first half.
31′ – Nanco gets behind the Edmonton defence with the ball and has a clear chance. With James cutting down the angle, Nanco decides to pass the ball through to Forge captain Becker who puts the wide of the net for Forges best chance so far in the game.
36′ – Eddies put a high ball on target from well outside the box, Henry manages to grab it with relative ease but Diouck was lurking right beside Henry in case anything leaked out.
41′ – Long range shot from Becker sails high over the net
42′ – Eddies send the ball past the Forge defence, Diouck gets to it first and draws the goalkeeper for a challenge then passes the ball across to Son who puts it in the back of the net to put the Eddies up by two… or so everyone thought. Alas, after consultation it was determined that Diouck was offside therefore no goal. Seeing it on replay it is a very obvious offside, good call by the referee. Unfortunate though for Son who is still goalless this season after this being a second goal of his being called back. Tough break.
Forge controlled most of the play in the first half but the with the early goal from the home squad they were content to play stingy defence and not allow any sort of significant chance to the visiting squad.
63′ – Khabra with a shot from well outside the box goes wide
64′ – Owundi (Forge) gets a yellow card as he tried to bulldoze his way through Son. Son went down with an ankle injury and was helped off the field with assistance as he wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg. To me it looks like a sprained ankle from a hard fall, if that’s the case he could be out a couple weeks which would hurt the Eddies as he’s been a mainstay in the starting line-up. Easton Ongaro would come on in his place in the 68′.
70′ – Soria goes down after an awkward collision with a Forge attacker. Goes off the pitch to walk it off and would quickly return to play. which was a relief to see after already seeing Didic and Son go off with injury.
74′ – Forge finally getting some pressure on the Eddies. A free kick from the side of the box. Instead of sending the ball into the middle of the box, the ball went to a wide open Becker at the top of the box. Becker opts not to take a touch and one-time the ball but it ended up launching sky high out of danger.
81′ – Some of the Eddies only pressure in the second half, Diouck gets the ball in the box but only manages a weak attempt at goal and Henry gobbled it up easily.
86′ – Forge Corner. Becker takes it. Headed up and out for another corner. Same play again this time the ball gets headed up field. The ball quickly comes back in on goal and James grabs it easily and puts an end to the threat.
87′ – On the ensuing play, James launched the ball up field it took a good bounce over the Forge defender and Ameobi got to it first. He tried to chip over the Keeper but the ball ended up going wide.
90′ – James comes out aggressively to challenge a Forge attacker. He slides and doesn’t seem to get much or any of the ball and the defender goes down. Forge pleads for a penalty kick but the ref is having none of it and Forge has to live with just a corner kick. On the ensuing corner, the ball bounced around dangerously inside the box for longer than James wanted it too so he jumped out and covered the ball to end the danger and seal the game for the Eddies. Khabra also exited the pitch with an injury, hopefully not to serious just banged up a bit and with mere seconds remaining decided to call it a night.
Final Whistle: FC Edmonton 1- Forge FC 0
Player of the Game
Eddies Team Defence
For me no one in particular stood out among the pack. One could argue Connor James as he made a few big saves to preserve the clean sheet and the win. However, this wasn’t one of the heroic Connor James performances of early this season. He managed to do his part, but the whole tam managed to shutdown the number one offence in the league. Everyone played their part perfectly, with a goal early on in the game the team manage to park the bus successfully all night long. Forge could barely get a sniff of the box the whole night. An impressive win for the Eddies who have now won two matches in a row and are tied for 3rd in the league table.
Canada Day July 1 @ Clarke Field. 1:30pm MST. Vs HFX Wanderes FC. both teams are currently tied for third in the league. A win would see the Eddies finish out the Spring season in third place which would be an awesome result considering how starved for goals this team was through a majority of the season.
It should be a great atmosphere and I’m sure there will be special Canada Day activities at Clarke to go along with an excellent afternoon game.
Another thing to keep an eye on is Oumar Diouck now has 3 goals on the season. One off of the league lead for the spring season, he could tie or *fingers crossed* win the spring scoring title on Canada day!