A late moment of magic from Sebastián Gutiérrez was the difference in the first 905 Derby of the 2022 Canadian Premier League season, as hosts York United emerged 1-0 winners over Forge FC.
The match certainly lived up to its billing as a rivalry, with seven yellow cards awarded between the two teams and 30 fouls over the course of 90 minutes.
Forge started the match on the front foot, with Terran Campbell wasting absolutely no time breaking through the York backline and finding the back of the net less than a minute into the match, before being deemed offside.
Both teams settled in quickly shortly thereafter, however, and chances were few and far between in the opening 20 minutes as the game developed into something of a midfield chess match.
Tristan Borges created the first real chance of the match off of a free-kick in the 20th minute that York goalkeeper Nikolaos Giantsopolous palmed away only as far as Campbell. The Forge striker, however, could not control the ball and it bounced harmlessly over the end line. York replied with a pair of chances of their own, but both Diyaeddine Abzi and Gutiérrez’s shots hardly troubled Tristan Henry in the Forge net.
Campbell had another chance, this time staying onside, in the 40th minute when a spell of pressure from Forge allowed him to break free of Chrisnovic N’sa. His header, however, was somewhat wastefully placed directly into the hands of Giantsopolous. The match headed into the interval scoreless.
The second half took on a chippy tone, as the intensity between the two sides ramped up. Forge goalkeeper Triston Henry spent several minutes on the ground after being barged into by Osaze De Rosario, drawing a crowd of several displeased Forge played.
Gutiérrez had the best chance of the early second half when he almost capitalized on some untidy defending from Forge. His shot from the left wing went narrowly wide of the post. It was substituted Austin Ricci who next threatened the Forge net in the 75th minute, but his double shot was saved by Henry.
Moments later, however, Gutiérrez finally found the breakthrough. He played a brilliant one-two with De Rosario, before sitting down both Dominic Samuel and Henry with brilliant footwork and patience and calmly slotting the ball home.
There were a few more nervy moments for the hosts in the dying minutes as Forge brought on Woobens Pacius and Jonathan Grant in an attempt to steal a point. But unlike last weekend, there was to be no stoppage time magic on this night, although De Rosario did have the fans on their feet just before the final whistle for a moment when he attempted to chip Henry.
The win moves York up into second place in the Canadian Premier League standings.
79′ — Sebastián Gutiérrez (York United FC)
24′ — Yellow Card: Ozase De Rosario (York United FC)
30′ — Yellow Card: Aboubacar Sissoko (Forge FC)
57′ — Yellow Card: Isaiah Johnston (York United FC)
72′ — Yellow Card: Kwasi Poku (Forge FC)
79′ — Yellow Card: Sebastián Gutiérrez (Forge FC)
85′ — Yellow Card: Jonathan Grant (Forge FC)
90′ — Yellow Card: Noah Verhoeven (York United FC)