HIGHLIGHTS: Valour FC vs. York United FC (May 15, 2022)
Valour FC recorded their first home win of 2022 on Sunday, as a late goal from CF Montreal loanee Sean Rea was enough for them to dispatch York United and claim a 1-0 victory to stretch their CPL unbeaten streak to three matches.
With both sides shifting their focus back to the league after midweek fixtures in the Canadian Championship, the two managers elected for a degree of consistency. Valour boss Phil Dos Santos made just two changes to his lineup, with Jonathan Sirois returning in goal and Andy Baquero stepping in at right fullback in place of Brett Levis. York’s Martin Nash, meanwhile, made two changes as well, as Eduardo Jesus came in at left wing and Isaiah Johnston returned to midfield.
The first half was naturally cagey, as the two sides tried to figure one another out. Neither of the clubs was able to produce much in the way of top-class scoring opportunities, though the hosts Valour controlled the lion’s share of possession and sent five shots toward York’s goal — but just two of them on target.
Nonetheless, neither team was able to breach the scoresheet in the first half as a formidable midfield battle kept the match contentious.
York exploded out of the gates in the second half, though, developing a number of excellent chances in the first 15 minutes after the break. In the 55th minute, they thought they’d found their moment to put themselves in the front as a set-piece opportunity led to a chance in front and, ultimately, a handball from Valour’s Moses Dyer — which prompted the referee to point to the spot immediately.
York’s Osaze De Rosario stepped up to take the penalty and put it to his left, but Valour keeper Jonathan Sirois made an excellent diving save to rescue his side and keep the score at 0-0.
Still, the away side continued to press even after failing to score the penalty. Valour were the first side to turn to the bench, as Dos Santos decided to introduce young midfielders Jacob Carlos and Matthew Catavolo just before the 70-minute mark, hoping to put a stop to York’s momentum. Not long after, though, Nash matched the changes with some of his own, introducing Mamadou Kane and William Wallace to his attack in hopes of producing a winning goal.
However, it would be Valour that found the breakthrough. With just minutes left in the 90, Valour managed to claim the ball back and work it into the attacking third, and it was Sean Rea who danced through a tight space between defenders near the top of the penalty area and ultimately lifted a beautiful shot from distance into the left side of the net to make it 1-0.
York thought they had equalized very shortly after Rea’s goal when a ball fell to William Wallace in transition for a solid finish, but the play was ultimately flagged for offside and the visitors were left empty-handed.
So, the Winnipeg-based side held on for the win, as Valour recorded their first home victory of the season and put themselves in possession of second place in the CPL table while York returned home without a goal from their trip to Manitoba.
87′ — Sean Rea (Valour FC)
40′ — Yellow: Moses Dyer (Valour FC)
40′ — Yellow: Isaiah Johnston (York United)
41′ — Yellow: Lowell Wright (York United)
42′ — Yellow: Cédric Toussaint (York United)
51′ — Yellow: Mateo Hernández (York United)
56′ — Yell0w: Alessandro Riggi (Valour FC)
67′ — Yellow: Diego Gutierrez (Valour FC)