Forge FC and Pacific FC will be eager to collect the full complement of points on offer when they clash on Saturday at The Island Games.
Forge is coming off a 1-1 draw with HFX Wanderers FC in their second-round opener, and they sit in a tie for second place with the Wanderers.
Pacific, meanwhile, is at the bottom of the table after a 3-1 loss to Cavalry FC.
The Tridents will be out for a measure of revenge after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Forge in the opening group stage: Kyle Bekker’s goal deep into injury time robbed the Tridents of a point on that day.
With only one match left in the second round after this weekend, the margin for error is very slim. Dropped points in this contest could ultimately mean the difference between moving on the CPL finals and going home early.
While there is no scenario that would see Forge clinch or be eliminated on Saturday, Pacific would be eliminated with a loss. A draw would keep the Trident’s alive going into its second round finale next week.
To consult the CPL standings, CLICK HERE.
3 THINGS TO WATCH
- Pacific’s PK problem: The Tridents have conceded five penalties at The Island Games, the most of any CPL team. Against Cavalry, Abdoulaye Samake’s lunging tackle on Mohamed Farsi led to Nik Ledgerwood converting from the spot, putting Pacific in a hole early on. It was all downhill after that. “We gave up another penalty and put us at the bottom of an uphill battle,” Pacific midfielder Jamar Dixon said. “We had chances to go forward, we’d get a half-chance and that’s all you can ask for. We have to stop giving away these PKs, they’re too much.”
- Don’t count out Forge: Pacific shouldn’t get ahead of themselves if they take an early lead on Saturday. HFX went up 1-0 over Forge after three minutes, but had to settle for a draw in the end. Yes, it a was controversial penalty call that led to the equalizer. But Forge was full value for the point, valiantly fighting back in the second half by winning the majority of duels against HFX and registering nine shots. Just when you think you have the CPL champs down, they prove they still have plenty of fight left – a lesson Pacific learned during their first-round encounter.
- Terran Campbell watch: Seven players have found the back of the net for Pacific in PEI, but Terran Campbell is not one of them. Campbell finished tied for second place in last season’s Golden Boot race with 11 goals, but he has yet to score at The Island Games in eight appearances totalling 360 minutes of playing time. Will the young Canadian finally come good and end his goal drought against Forge? Will Pa-Modou Kah even give Campbell a chance, or will he turn to his other forwards for goals?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“Don’t let people fool you that coaches have a magic wand. We try and move things around a little bit, but they have to come up with the solutions. And that point when you’re scored on in the third minute it’s only normal that for the next five, six minutes maybe you’re a little down on yourself, maybe you’re a little bit stunned.” – Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis, after the HFX game.
“They didn’t allow us to play and they wanted to stop us at the source, which they did fantastically. And they took the chances we made for them, and that’s part of football.” – Pacific coach Pa-Modou Kah, after the Cavalry game.
Forge wins: 4 || Pacific wins: 0 || Draws 1
The reigning CPL champions remain undefeated to start the regular season after earning a last-minute win over Pacific. Captain Kyle Bekker scored the winner deep into injury time for Forge off a setup from inside the box from Molham Babouli.
Referee: Juan Marquez
ARs: Gabrielle Lemieux & Jason Olinksi
4th Official: Myriam Marcotte