In Canada, they are calling him Akeem “The Dream” Garcia.

Known as “Froggy” in his Trinidad and Tobago homeland, former national youth striker Garcia continued his march to the Golden Boot award in a shortened 2020 version of the Canadian Premier League (CPL), when scoring a league-leading fifth goal of the season for HFX Wanderers in a 1-1 draw with defending champions Forge FC in their first game of CPL’s championship round (Big 4).

The discussion panel at Wednesday’s match broadcaster One Soccer, had lauded Garcia as being a likely MVP candidate, even before getting his latest goal.

“He’s been fantastic obviously and top of the goal-scoring right now. He unbelievable. He’s one to watch. He had a good season last year and he’s sort of continued form into this tournament. Is he the MVP? So far he is. He’s the leading goal-scorer and you can make a case or him. If yet to be seen because there are also a couple other guys in line for that.”

Garcia opened the scoring for HFX in just the fourth minute when, shooting between two centre-backs and expertly finding the corner with the outside of his left foot from the edge of the penalty area.

Coached by Trinidadian Stephen Hart, Halifax were unlucky to walk away with full points and when awarded a dubious penalty which Paolo Sabak converted for defending champion Forge on a penalty in the 71st minute.

“I thought we did well. We should have gotten another one,” Hart said at half-time, before the devastating spot-kick which all three members of the three-person agreed was ‘no penalty”.

Sabak was awarded the penalty after HFX defender Jake Ruby was called for a handball inside the box. Already side-on to the shooter, Ruby was struck point-blank by the ball with his hands pressed tightly against his side.

Cavalry, HFX, Forge and Pacific contest the round-robin championship series after advancing out of the eight-team first stage at The Island Games. The series continue today with unlucky Halifax needing a good result against Calvary FC who won 3-1 Pacific FC later on Wednesday. The CPL winner will play the top Canadian team in Major League Soccer for the Voyageurs Trophy and a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League will be on the line.

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