Win and they’re in: Forge FC Hamilton braces for do-or-die clash in Honduras

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Published December 8, 2020 at 9:43 am

After suffering the most heartbreaking loss of the franchise’s young history, Forge FC Hamilton will get one last opportunity to qualify for the 2021 Champions League Tuesday night.

Forge’s final match of 2020 will be a play-in match against Club Deportivo Marathón of Honduras. Kick-off is scheduled for 9:55 p.m. and the game air nationally on TSN 5.

The back-to-back league champions could become the first Canadian Premier League club to qualify for Concacaf Champions League with a win.

Last week, Forge FC lost to Haitian club Arcahaie FC in the quarter-finals of the 2020 Concacaf League. The Hamilton side dominated the match and built a 1-0 lead before an error by the reigning CPL goalkeeper of the year, Tristan Henry, levelled things for Arcahaie. Forge went on to lose in penalties.

A win would have launched Forge FC into the Concacaf League semifinals and guaranteed them a spot in the Champions League. But thanks to a change in the qualifying format which pits the clubs that lost in the quarterfinals against one another, Forge will get one more shot Tuesday at Estadio Tiburcio Carías Andino in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Forge FC will face a very different opponent in Marathón.

“Marathón doesn’t overly rely on football and keeping the ball for long periods of time, they just want to impose pressure in your box as much as possible,” Forge FC coach Bobby Smyrniotis told CanPL.ca. “That’s what we’ve seen there, and I think that’s something to be honest we do a good job of defending against in these types of games, and give ourselves a good opportunity as well of getting forward.”

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