CPL

Pacific FC blank defending champs Forge FC to claim 1st CPL title

Victoria's Pacific FC knocked off defending champions Forge FC of Hamilton 1-0 in the CPL final Sunday for their first league title. Alessandro Hojabrpour scored the game's only goal in the 59th minute for the visitors at Tim Hortons Field.

Alessandro Hojabrpour scores lone goal of match in 59th minute

Alessandro Hojabrpour's goal 59th minute goal handed Pacific FC a 1-0 win over Forge FC for their first Canadian Premier League title in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday. (David Chant/CPL)

There's a new Canadian Premier League champion.

Victoria's Pacific FC knocked off defending champions Forge FC of Hamilton 1-0 in the CPL final Sunday for their first league title.

Alessandro Hojabrpour scored the game's only goal in the 59th minute for the visitors on a chilly late afternoon at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ont.

The goal came off a set piece taken near the corner flag. Gianni Dos Santos sent the free kick into the box, and Hojabrpour made a darting run to the near post and headed the ball past goalkeeper Triston Henry into the top corner of the net.

The midfielder was an unlikely hero, having scored just twice in 26 appearances during the regular season. But his go-ahead header proved to be the difference.

Pacific came close to doubling their lead minutes later when Josh Heard's shot from the edge of the penalty box ricocheted off the crossbar.

The breakthrough for the Victoria-based club came despite Forge seeing much more of the ball, especially in the first half. The home side had 73 per cent possession in the first 45 minutes, and 70 per cent overall.

But Forge could not do much with the ball, managing just two shots on target โ€” both from captain Kyle Bekker. Forge led 17-6 in total shots. Corner kicks were 10-2 in favour of Hamilton.

Pacific goalkeeper Callum Irving made the stops when needed to earn a two-save clean sheet. Henry conceded one goal on two shots.

Forge FC was forced to relinquish their hold on the North Star Shield โ€” the trophy awarded to the winner of the CPL playoffs โ€” after claiming the title in 2019 and 2020.

Pacific, which finished third in the regular season standings with a 13-9-6 record, reached the CPL final by defeating Cavalry FC 2-1 in the semifinal.

Hamilton's Forge dispatched York United FC 3-1 in the other semifinal. Forge topped the regular season table with a 16-10-2 record.

The teams met three times during the regular season, with Forge winning all three.

Add some โ€œgoodโ€ to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationย ย Create account

Already have an account?

now