Forge FC will play Pacific FC for a Canadian Premier League title after defeating local rivals York United FC 3-1 in Sunday’s semifinal.
The Hammers returned to winning ways following a 1-0 home loss to Calgary’s Cavalry on Tuesday. Hamilton’s Forge is a win away from a third straight CPL title after dispatching York at Tim Hortons Field.
Pacific FC downed host Calvary 2-1 in Saturday’s semifinal to advance to the final on Dec. 5 in Hamilton.
The “905 Derby” got off to a slippery start on a rainy afternoon in Hamilton with Woobens Pacius giving the hosts a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.
Incredible! The Hammers are up 3-1 with 10 minutes left, courtesy of Josh Navarro! <br><br>🎥: <a href=”https://twitter.com/onesoccer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@onesoccer</a> <a href=”https://t.co/jcEj006pEJ”>pic.twitter.com/jcEj006pEJ</a>
Tristan Borges’ perfectly timed through ball split the York defenders and picked out Pacius, whose drilled left-footed finish off the post beat York `keeper Nathan Ingham.
The Nine Stripes countered in the 38th minute with Michael Petrasso drawing the visitors level at 1-1.
Forge had 54 per cent possession while firing more than triple as many shots (14) as York did (4) in the first half. Hamilton wasn’t able to capitalize on that dominant display to extend or preserve their lead before halftime.
Ijah Halley came on in the 56th minute of the game for York goalscorer Petrasso, who held his hamstring as he limped off the field.
York’s second substitution in the 64th minute swapped Lowell Wright in for Julian Ulbricht.
Just two minutes later, Forge led 2-1.
Despite being the more dominant side in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, a lapse in defensive concentration from York United afforded Omar Browne enough time to find Navarro in the penalty box.
Hamilton extended its lead in the 73rd minute via an own goal from York’s Noah Verhoeven.
Forge captain Kyle Bekker’s corner kick met the head of Navarro, whose deflected effort struck Verhoeven and found the back of the net to give Forge a fourth set-piece goal against York in their last two meetings.
Hamilton coach Bobby Smyrniotis made his first substitutions for the home team in the 76th and 82nd minute as Maxim Tissot and Chris Nanco replaced Borges and Pacius respectively.
Forge capped a well-rounded performance with their third and final substitution in the 92nd minute when Omar Browne made way for Klaidi Cela.