Canadian Premier League Champions: Pacific FC

Pacific FC are the Canadian Premier League Champions.

The Tridents, visiting Tim Hortons Field looking to knock off the defending champs in Hamilton, scraped out a gutsy 1-0 win over Forge FC on Sunday night to claim all the spoils and thus became the 2021 Canadian Premier League Champions.

With usual centre-back Daniel Krutzen out with injury, Forge opted for a defensive pairing of Dominic Samuel and Garven Metusala, as Emery Welshman returned to the side as the centre-forward. Pacific, meanwhile, brought Gianni Dos Santos back into the lineup alongside fellow attackers Terran Campbell and Josh Heard, with star winger Marco Bustos fit enough to make the bench.

The first half transpired without major event, though both sides had their share of chances to open the scoring. Forge, playing in front of a strong home crowd, took a commanding advantage in possession, owning 73% of the ball in the first 45 minutes. They came agonizingly close to goal with their methodical, incisive buildup play, but none of their attackers quite managed to sort their feet out in the box and finish.

Pacific, meanwhile, looked content in the opening frame to absorb some pressure and strike on the counter-attack, with Joshua Heard and Manny Aparicio in particular looking to drive straight forward with pace whenever the Tridents won the ball in midfield.

Despite the lopsided possession figures, though, it would be Pacific who found the net first. Just before the hour mark, Forge’s Elimane Cisse came through Gianni Dos Santos with a hard sliding challenge in the corner to earn himself a yellow card and give Pacific a dangerous set-piece from the side of the box. Dos Santos himself sent in the ball, and Alessandro Hojabrpour, running in toward the near post, headed the cross in to make it 1-0.

Read the full match report and view highlights at CanPL.ca.

Article originally posted to CanPL.ca.