Langford-based Pacific FC won the team’s first-ever Canadian Premier League title Sunday in a nail-biting finish as they beat double-defending champions Forge FC 1-0 in front of their home crowd in Hamilton.
It was billed as a David versus Goliath fight by the Canadian Premier League’s commissioner before the game, and that’s how it seemed to be for the majority of the game.
Prior to tonight, Forge FC had never lost to PFC, winning eight out of their nine previous meetings, the other ending in a tie.
And it seemed like Forge FC were in control for most of the game until the 59th minute, when CPL Under-21 Player of the Year nominee Alessandro Hojabrpour darted to the near post and headed home Gianni dos Santos’ free-kick to give Pacific FC a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
It was a dogged defensive display from PFC throughout the game. The team for long stretches hardly touched the ball as Forge FC ended the game with 70 per cent possession.
Despite out-shooting PFC 16 to 2, Forge FC managed to create little in terms of clear cut chances, with PFC head coach Pa-Modou Kah’s team managing to hold out. Kah seemed to set up his team knowing they would be on the defensive as star forward Marco Bustos and attacking midfielder Ollie Bassett sat on the bench.
Forge pushed for an equalizer but couldn’t break through, and their frustrations saw them punished, Omar Browne being sent off for a second yellow-card in injury time.
With the victory, Pacific become the first team other than Forge FC to win the Canadian Premier League.