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Match Summary | Forge FC Hamilton 2-1 Toronto FC | July 10, 2024

Match Summary | Forge FC Hamilton 2-1 Toronto FC | July 10, 2024

Toronto FC suffered a 2-1 defeat to Forge FC in the first leg of the 2024 Canadian Championship semi-final in Hamilton on Wednesday night.

First half:

TFC head coach John Herdman made five changes to his team that started Saturday night against Columbus Crew: Sean Johnson, Kevin Long, Matty Longstaff, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and Prince Owusu made way for Luka Gavran, Aimé Mabika, Kobe Franklin, Deybi Flores and Lorenzo Insigne.

The Reds created the first big scoring chance of the rainy evening when Lorenzo Insigne’s left-footed shot, taken from a back pass by Federico Bernardeschi following a quick team move, went inches wide in the fifth minute of the game.

Forge FC opened the scoring against the run of play when Béni Badibanga fired a 60-yard shot from his own half in the 11th minute.e minute.

Three minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead with another moment of magic when David Choinière’s low cross into the penalty area was expertly finished off by Kwasi Poku in the 14th minute.e minute.

The Reds were unable to convert a number of chances in the first half and went into halftime two goals behind. At halftime, Matty Longstaff and Prince Owusu came on to make a comeback in the second half.

Second half:

Forge FC started the second half brightly, with Tristan Borges forcing Luka Gavran into a vital save from a kick before David Choinière’s shot from outside the penalty area hit the post in the opening seven minutes of the half.

The Reds almost found their opening goal through Prince Owusu’s 55e minute header, which was however blocked by goalkeeper Christopher Kalongo. At the other end, the Hamilton-based club formed a pair of efforts in quick succession, with goalkeeper Luka Gavran denying former Red Kyle Bekker in the 64e minute before a header from Kwasi Poku hit the post a minute later.

Hamilton native Luka Gavran was on hand again to make a spectacular save on his left to deny Béni Badibanga his second of the night in the 77e minute.

The visitors’ pressure was eventually rewarded when TFC found their away goal in the 88th.e minute, when Prince Owusu fired home from close range after goalkeeper Christopher Kalongo had acrobatically saved the ball from Deandre Kerr following an Insigne corner.

Looking for an equaliser in the closing stages, Lorenzo Insigne forced Kalongo into a curling shot in the final minute of regulation time, before Deandre Kerr headed the ball the wrong side of the post in injury time just minutes before the final whistle.

With the Reds’ second-half comeback falling short by a single point, Forge FC carries a 2-1 lead into Leg 2 in seven weeks. Following MLS and Leagues Cup action over the summer, the Reds host Forge FC in Leg 2 of the 2024 Canadian Championship semifinals on Tuesday, August 27. Kickoff from BMO Field is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET and can be watched on OneSoccer across Canada.

Toronto FC then hosts Philadelphia Union in MLS regular season action at BMO Field on Saturday night. Toronto is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast worldwide on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

LINE-UPS

SMID FC – Christopher Kalongo; Malcolm Duncan (Dominicus Samuel 79′), Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson, Garven Metusala, Malik Owolabi-Belewu; Kyle Bekker (C) (Jordan Hamilton 80′), Alessandro Hojabropour, Tristan Borges (Noah Jensen 72′); Beni Badibanga, David Choinière (Khadim Kane 90+1), Kwasi Poku (Nana Ampomah 80′)

Unused substitutes: Jassem Koleilat, Matteo Schiavoni

TORONTO FC- Luka Gavran; Shane O’Neill (Matty Longstaff 46′), Aimé Mabika (Prins Owusu 46′), Nicksoen Gomis; Kobe Franklin (Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty 78′), Kosi Thompson, Deybi Flores (Kevin Long 68′), Raoul Petretta; Federico Bernardeschi (C)Lorenzo Insigne, Derrick Etienne Jr.

Unused substitutes: Greg Ranjitsingh, Sigurd Rosted

MEDIA COMMENTS

  • Lorenzo Insigne turned 50e appearing for Toronto FC in all competitions, becoming the ninth current TFC player (Jonathan Osorio, Richie Laryea, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Deandre Kerr, Federico Bernardeschi, Shane O’Neill, Kosi Thompson and Kobe Franklin) to reach this milestone.
  • Raoul Petretta made his first appearance in the Canadian Championship for TFC.

POST-MATCH SOUND