History was made this afternoon, as 17,611 watched the first-ever Canadian Premier League game at Tim Horton’s Field, Hamilton.
The game was a lively affair, and the sizeable crowd didn’t have to wait long for the new league’s first goal. It came from Ryan Telfer, on-loan to York9 from Toronto FC. The striker latched onto a defence-splitting ball from captain Manny Aparicio in the 3rd minute to slot past Henry in the Forge goal.
Forge, who took longer to find their feet, enjoyed most of the possession after the break, and a deserved equalizer arrived in the 78th minute after their most dangerous player, Guyanese, Emery Thomas made ground on the right flank before cutting in. His pull-back was met by Kadell Thomas a 56th min replacement for Chris Nanco. Thomas bent the ball into the top corner from 14 yards, past visiting ‘keeper Nathan Ingham, whose performance earned him Man of the Match honours.
We also had the first red card in the 5th minute of added time when Aparicio found himself the victim of a second yellow. The Argentine-Canadian midfielder was cut up afterwards, but he had words of sympathy from coach, Jimmy Brennan.
“He felt he let the team down,” Brennan said of Aparicio. “I know what he was trying to do, he was trying to cause a professional foul there, they were about to break. Maybe should’ve used his head rather than his hands, but it got to him.
“In the dressing room he was very very emotional, but it’s a part of the game. It’s a reaction that he did, and after that you think and go, maybe I shouldn’t have done that, maybe I should’ve pulled his shorts, or his leg or something. I know what he was trying to do, I can’t get mad at him.
“I thought Manny was great today, he was all over the park, he had good work ethic, I can’t fault him. A little mistake, a quick reaction let him down a bit.”
The level of play was was better than many had anticipated, and the game certainly watchable. It will take time for the league to develop and earn credibility, but this was a pretty good beginning.
Many Impact fans will be hoping to see a CPL team in the greater Montreal region next season. Laval appears to be the likeliest location at this point, but for sure if the league is to meet its ambitions, CPL football must spread to other areas of this vast land, and a Quebec representative is imperative.
Interested to gauge the interest in the Montreal soccer public for having a CPL club on its doorstep. Would you attend matches and support a club in CPL if it were based in the Montreal region?
This poll is closed