Canadian Premier League Finals

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Canadian Premier League Finals
CanPL Finals 2019.jpg
2019 Finals logo
Organising bodyCanadian Premier League
Qualifier forCONCACAF League
Current championsPacific FC
(1st title)
Most successful club(s)Forge FC
(2 titles)
Television broadcastersOneSoccer
2021 Canadian Premier League Final

The Canadian Premier League Finals is the annual championship game of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), the top level of Canadian soccer. As of the 2021 Final, it is played as a single match hosted by the higher seeded team. The winner is awarded the North Star Shield trophy and earns Canada's berth in the following year's CONCACAF League.[1][2]

The CPL uses a playoff tournament following the regular season to determine its annual league champion, a method common to every other major North American sports league. This format differs from most soccer leagues around the world, which consider the club with the most points at the end of the season to be the champion.

The inaugural Finals were played as a two-legged tie on October 26 and November 2, 2019 in which Forge FC defeated Cavalry FC. Forge FC is the most successful team in Finals history, winning a second title in 2020.


Different formats and methods of qualification have been used for each of the first three CPL seasons.


The 2019 Finals were contested between the winners of the Spring and Fall seasons.[3] The championship was contested as a two-legged tie, with each team hosting one leg at home. The winner was determined by aggregate score but if the aggregate score was tied, the team with the most away goals wins the series. A penalty shoot-out was the final tiebreaker.


The 2020 season saw the end of the split season format, with the 2020 Finals scheduled to be contested between the top-seeded regular season team and the winner of a playoff between the second and third-placed teams.[4] However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the season format was scrapped and replaced with a single-site tournament with a two-stage regular season. The 2020 Final was contested in a single match between the two top-seeded teams from the four-team second stage.[5]


The 2021 season brought in a new four-team single leg knockout playoff with the two first round winners advancing to the Final.[6] The higher-seeded finalist hosts the single leg game. If a match is tied at the end of normal playing time, extra time is played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and, if necessary, followed by a penalty shoot-out to determine the winners.[7]

Prior to the start of the 2022 season, the league announced that playoff semi-finals would switch to a two-legged format but that the Final would continue to be played as a single match hosted by the higher-seeded team.[8]


Season Date Champions Score Runners-up Venue Attendance Television
2019 Leg 1 October 26 Forge FC 1–0 Cavalry FC Tim Hortons Field 10,486 OneSoccer, CBC Sports
Leg 2 November 2 1–0 ATCO Field 5,831
2020 September 19 Forge FC 2–0 HFX Wanderers FC Alumni Field 0[a] OneSoccer, CBC Sports
2021 December 5 Pacific FC 1–0 Forge FC Tim Hortons Field 7,488 OneSoccer
  1. ^ Match was played behind closed doors.

Records and statistics[edit]

Finals wins[edit]

Club Wins Losses Appearances Years of appearance
Forge FC 2 1 3 2019, 2020, 2021
Pacific FC 1 0 1 2021
Cavalry FC 0 1 1 2019
HFX Wanderers FC 0 1 1 2020

Champions records in the CONCACAF League[edit]

Year Club Result
2019 Forge FC[a] Round of 16
2020 Forge FC Quarter-finals
2021 Forge FC Semi-finals
2022 Pacific FC Round of 16
  1. ^ For the inaugural CPL season, Forge FC qualified as the winner of the 2019 Canadian CONCACAF League series.


The winning team is presented with the North Star Shield. It is a solid crystal circular shield engraved with the league's logo. The shield sits atop a maple wood base. The winners and finalists are also presented with gold and silver medals respectively.[9]


Name Location Hosted Years hosted
Tim Hortons Field Hamilton, Ontario 2 2019[a], 2021
Alumni Field Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island 1 2020[b]
ATCO Field Foothills County, Alberta 1 2019[a]
  1. ^ a b Venue used only for one leg of a two legged final.
  2. ^ Venue selected as a neutral ground.

Red cards in the finals[edit]

List of sent off players
Player Club Match Minute Type Score at time of incident Final score
Canada Joel Waterman Cavalry FC (a) 2019 Final (1st leg) 37' Red card 0–0 1–0
Canada Tristan Borges[a] Forge FC (h) 69' Red card[a] 1–0
Panama Omar Browne Forge FC (h) 2021 Final 90+1' Yellow card Yellow-red card 0–1 0–1
  1. ^ a b Borges's red card was rescinded by Canada Soccer after the match.[10]


  1. ^ Spencer, Donna (November 2, 2019). "Forge claim inaugural CPL championship with gritty win over Cavalry". CBC Sports. The Canadian Press. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  2. ^ "CONCACAF creates club competition opening for a CPL team". Sportsnet. The Canadian Press. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  3. ^ Jacques, John (June 21, 2019). "Canadian Premier League Announces Championship Format". Northern Tribune. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  4. ^ Rhodes, Benedict (February 21, 2020). "Canadian Premier League releases 2020 schedule and format". Waking the Red. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  5. ^ "The Island Games". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
  6. ^ O'Connor-Clarke, Charlie (June 24, 2021). "CPL reveals 2021 season format: 28-game schedule to conclude with four-team playoff for championship". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  7. ^ Thompson, Marty (November 17, 2021). "2021 CPL Final: Tentative dates set for championship match next weekend". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  8. ^ "2022 CPL Schedule presented by WestJet: Balanced regular season, more weekend matchups unveiled". Canadian Premier League. February 3, 2022. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  9. ^ Molinaro, John (October 25, 2019). "CPL unveils its championship trophy: The North Star Shield". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  10. ^ "Forge FC's Tristan Borges wins appeal, will play 2nd leg of final". Sportsnet. The Canadian Press. October 31, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2020.