Cavalry FC suffered their first loss of the 2021 Canadian Premier League season in Winnipeg Thursday, succumbing 2-0 to defending champions Forge FC.
Two first-half Kyle Bekker goals were enough to sink the Cavs. Calgary’s club were kept at arm’s length for most of the 90 minutes and rarely posed a threat to Forge FC’s goal, managing only two shots on goal.
For Cavalry FC manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. it was simply a matter of not executing the original game plan.
“We didn’t trust in the game plan we had practiced before until the second half,” said Wheeldon Jr., following the match. “And by then it’s a mountain to climb.”
“We were way better in the second half. And had we started like that with the game plan we’d practiced and rehearsed, we wouldn’t be having these conversations. But we didn’t.”
Second straight game without scoring
Cavalry failed to find the net for the second game in row, having played out a nil-nil draw against bottom-of-the-league HFX Wanderers on the weekend.
“Listen, you always want to score goals,” admitted Wheeldon Jr. “It’s just one of them (when) we’re rotating. We’ve always thought that we’re going to look at different things., different pictures.
“And we want answers coming out of Winnipeg. So there’s no real concerns about not scoring. We just know what works and doesn’t work. Sometimes when you lose, you learn.”
Perfect game from Forge FC
Thursday’s victory was Forge FC’s second in succession, as the two-time CPL champions continue to recover from losing its first two of the season.
And for Smyrniotis, everything went precisely to plan Thursday.
“When you look at the first half, we executed it perfectly,” said Bobby Smyrniotis, Forge FC head coach. “We found the spaces that we knew were going to be there. Created opportunities, created waves of attacks in different areas and situations in the final third and we get two quality goals.”
“Second half we’ve gotten the lead, and we’re think about changing a little bit of our mindset. And w’eve read what Cavalry likes do in their build up and where they like to keep most of their passes. We kept the game controlled.”