HIGHLIGHTS: Cavalry FC vs. York United (August 20, 2023) | Presented by tonybet
After a missed opportunity to do so last weekend, Cavalry FC are back at the top of the Canadian Premier League table after a 2-1 victory over York United at ATCO Field on Sunday.
The Cavs scored incredibly early in both halves, courtesy of Ali Musse in the opening 45, and William Akio in the second. Clément Bayiha scored the lone goal for the visiting York United.
The Cavs now sit a single point ahead of Pacific FC, who they will host at ATCO Field next Sunday in what will now be a mouthwatering top-of-the-table clash.
It took Cavalry just 34 seconds to open the scoring. A strong tackle in the midfield from Charlie Trafford played the ball into the path of Maël Henry, who shifted the ball out wide to Bradley Kamden. The wingback played in an excellent cross that Musse powerfully re-directed past Niko Giantsopoulos.
Despite giving Cavalry that early head start, York responded well, creating the majority of chances thereafter, especially out wide where Kévin Santos and Clément Bayiha were constant threats. Cavalry, meanwhile, who were playing a newer system with a back three, struggled at times to play the ball out of their own half.
Cavalry were forced to make an early substitution, as Trafford was unable to overcome the discomfort from the tackle he made in the lead-up to Cavalry’s first-minute goal. The veteran midfielder was replaced by Jesse Daley in the 31st minute. After the substitution, Cavalry started to hold onto the ball better, with Daley and Shamit Shome combining well to hold possession in the middle of the park.
Like York, the Cavs were able to create a few decent chances through their width later in the half, but also lacked the quality of delivery to make those moments count. In the end, the early goal was all that separated the two sides at the half, with Cavalry leading 1-0.
The hosts again started the second half with a bang, as halftime substitute Akio cut in centrally from the right wing as he has done so many times since his return to the CPL, and sent a shot past Giantsopoulos to make it 2-0. It was the third goal the Cavalry attacker has scored in the past two matches — and already his fourth goal for the club.
Perhaps armed with the knowledge that Cavalry had blown a two-goal lead in Winnipeg last weekend, however, York kept pressing. They finally found a moment of joy in the 63rd minute, as Mo Babouli played a well-weighted pass into the box which Bayiha smashed over the head of Marco Carducci to cut the Cavalry lead in half.
Shortly after the goal, York manager Martin Nash elected to bring on a pair of youngsters as Noah Abatneh and Carson Buschman-Dormond were brought into the match, perhaps with an eye towards accumulating crucial U-21 minutes. They later brought on veteran wide attackers Michael Petrasso and Austin Ricci looking for a further attacking spark.
A Cavalry substitute, Gareth Smith-Doyle, had an excellent opportunity to add some insurance late on in the match, but got his shooting shape all wrong and ended up slipping and sending his shot comfortably into the hands of Giantsopoulos. Smith-Doyle looked to be in on goal again in the 97th minute, but was brought down by Buschman-Dormond who was shown a straight red. The final whistle followed moments later.
In the end, York didn’t have much in the way of offence after their second-half goal. They managed just a single shot on target, a tame effort from Petrasso, in the final half hour.
With the loss, York’s woes at ATCO Field continued, as they have now lost seven of their eight all-time visits to Calgary. They end the weekend three points behind Halifax Wanderers for the fifth and final playoff spot, having played one more match than every team ahead of them excluding Forge.
1′ — Ali Musse (Cavalry FC)
47′ — William Akio (Cavalry FC)
63′ — Clément Bayiha (York United)
33′ — Yellow: Brem Soumaoro (York United)
40′ — Yellow: Daan Klomp (Cavalry FC)
45′ + 5′ — Yellow: Brian Wright (York United)
52′ — Yellow: Mo Babouli (York United)
72′ — Yellow: Elijah Adekugbe (York United)
90 + 2′ — Yellow: Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC)
90+8′ — Red: Carson Buschman-Dormond (York United)