HIGHLIGHTS: CF Montreal vs. Forge FC (May 25, 2022)
For the second straight year, Forge FC was eliminated from the Canadian Championship by CF Montréal. This time, they will be left to bemoan a slow start, going down within the first 14 minutes en route to a difficult 3-0 loss at Stade Saputo.
Montréal now moves on to the semi-final round, where they will face rivals Toronto FC in a classic Canadian Championship tie.
Forge had no answer on the night for the play of 19-year-old striker Sunusi Ibrahim, as the Nigerian international scored a hattrick, and could have easily had more in a dominant performance.
Ibrahim almost opened his account just a few minutes into the match as he broke through on the Forge goal. Triston Henry, however, was equal to his effort, coming off his line to make an excellent save.
The visitors continued to look jittery early, as the normally cool in possession Forge backline struggled to keep a hold on the ball faced with an aggressive Montréal press.
History repeated itself in the 14th minute when Ibrahim once again got behind the Forge backline and latched onto a ball played by Matko Miljevic. This time, the Montréal striker made no mistake, beating Henry and giving the hosts an early 1-0 lead.
Things went from bad to worse shortly thereafter. With Garven Metusala off the pitch with an injury, CF Montréal took the man advantage and increased their goal advantage in the match. Again it was Ibrahim, who benefitted from some unselfish play from Kei Kamara to double his goal tally and double the Montreal lead.
Forge was finally able to get some time in the final third late in the half, as they won a pair of corners and were able to build that into a solid spell of possession. None of that possession, however, really caused James Pantemis any concern in the Montréal net.
Ibrahim nearly completed his hat-trick just before half-time, as Zorhan Bassong cut down the left wing and played a dangerous ball across the face of goal. This time, however, Ibrahim was unable to get his boot in the right spot.
Forge came out aggressive to start the second half, but there was no denying Ibrahim on the night. Off of a brilliant set-piece delivery from Miljevic, the Nigerian striker completed his hattrick and gave the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Former Cavalry FC defender Joel Waterman nearly added his own effort for Montréal in the 66th minute with a well-taken volley off of a corner kick. His attempt, however, bounced off the turf and over the net.
David Choinière was finally able to test Pantemis in the 77th minute, stinging the palms of the Montréal keeper with a well-driven long-range effort. That led to a string of corners, one of which saw Woobens Pacius nearly deflect a ball past Pantemis.
Despite some other promising spells, Forge was unable to further trouble Pantemis again before the final whistle.
14′ — Sunusi Ibrahim (CF Montréal)
21′ — Sunusi Ibrahim (CF Montréal)
49′ — Sunusi Ibrahim (CF Montréal)
26′ — Yellow: Alessandro Hojabrpour (Forge FC)
46′ — Yellow: Aboubacar Sissoko (Forge FC)
83′ — Yellow: Zachary Brault-Guillard (CF Montréal)
89′ — Yellow: Sebastian Castello (Forge FC)