HIGHLIGHTS: Pacific FC vs. York United FC (September 3, 2022)
Fuelled by a strong second half surge, York United stayed alive in the race for the CPL playoffs on Saturday, picking up a crucial 3-1 road win over Pacific FC at Starlight Stadium in this matchday’s ComeOn! Match of the Week.
Their fifth win in their last eight games, York ensured that they’ll live on in the race for the ‘North Star Shield’, at least for now, handing Pacific their third straight defeat in league play.
To begin the game, though, both teams came out with a strong defensive posture, making space hard to come by on the field. As a result, there weren’t many chances through the first 15 minutes of the match, other than a blocked shot from York’s Osaze De Rosario, and a harmless shot from distance from Pacific’s Gianni Dos Santos, making for a rather tame start to the match.
That’d quickly change in the 25th minute, however, as Pacific managed to put together the best chance of the game up to that point. Off of a nice cross from Gianni Dos Santos, Marco Bustos managed to wiggle himself free in the box, allowing him to meet the ball with an acrobatic bicycle kick, one he’d make full connection with, just narrowly sending it over the crossbar from the penalty spot, inches away from racking up an instant goal of the year candidate.
Off of the back of that, they’d then find a way to grab their opener just five minutes later, too. After a great ball out of the back from Cedric Toussaint, the ball would find Kunle Dada-Luke on the run down the right-hand side, and he’d do well to take his shot on the half-volley in stride, sliding the ball into the bottom corner to give his team the lead.
At the other end, looking to get back in the match, York would find some life in the 35th minute, however. First, Ronan Kratt unleashed a ferocious strike that nearly caused trouble for Pacific’s Callum Irving, before Mo Babouli tried to slide one past the Pacific goalkeeper, who would also stand tall to that attempt, too.
Continuing a strong end to the half, Pacific would then nearly strike next, as Kamron Habibullah managed to connect with a strong shot from the edge of the box, one labelled for the corner, but York’s Eleias Himaras did well to get down and keep it out.
From there, however, other than a tame header from Babouli that’d easily be saved by Irving, that’d be all the first half would have to offer, leaving both teams to regroup before reconvening for the second stanza, with Pacific narrowly holding on to their 1-0 advantage.
Which wouldn’t last long for them, as York came out flying in the second half. As a result, they’d manage to tie the game just three minutes into the half, as Dominick Zator did well to whip in a dangerous ball, one that’d find Babouli wide-open at the six-yard box, where he’d tap the ball into the net from close range to level the game at one goal apiece.
Then, maintaining that strong start to the second half, York would then manage to grab the lead, too, as they continued to apply the pressure on Pacific. After a dangerous free kick into the box, the ball would fall to Zator, who headed the ball off of the post and out, where it’d find the foot of De Rosario, who would just edge the ball over the line for the goal.
Having quickly lost their lead, however, Pacific just as quickly tried to get it back, as they ramped things up on their end. As a result, Gianni Dos Santos came close to nabbing a tally in the 58th minute, poking a good attempt towards goal, but he’d be denied nicely by the leg of Himaras.
At the other end, however, York then almost made it three, as Chrisnovic N’Sa managed to sneak into the box and slot home a dangerous cutback from second-half sub, Kévin dos Santos, but his goal would be ruled out, as the referee spotted an infringement in the build-up play.
Not long after, Kevin dos Santos continued his strong run off the bench for York, doing well to craft some space for a shot, one that seemed dangerous, but just flashed by the wrong side of the post for York.
Then, keeping up the pressure, York came close once again in the 72nd minute, as Zator slammed the ball off of the woodwork again, but this time De Rosario would be unable to convert the rebound, which was just kept out on the line by Irving.
Soon after, finally managing to muster up a chance of their own, Pacific nearly gave York a scare through Sean Young, who caught all of a shot in transition, but sent it just wide of the mark.
A few minutes later, however, York would punish them once again, as they managed to grab a third.
Second half substitute, Sebastián Gutiérrez, found some space in transition, where he’d do well to unleash a shot in stride, but his attempt would clatter off of the post. The good news for him, however, was that the ball would then bounce right back to him, allowing him to have a second crack at it, and this time, he made no mistake, slotting it in off of the right side of the post to make it 3-1.
They wouldn’t be done there, either, as Babouli came close to making it 4-1 in the 94th minute, unleashing a vicious strike from inside of the box, one that forced a strong save out of Irving, who’d ensure that his team would at least avoid a blowout of a result.
From there, though, that’d be all that this game would have to offer for both sides, leaving York to grab their well-deserved victory, one that leaves them still believing with just five games to go in CPL play.
30′ — Kunle Dada-Luke (Pacific FC)
48′ — Mo Babouli (York United)
57′ — Osaze De Rosario (York United)
81′ — Sebastián Gutiérrez (York United)
22′ — Yellow: Jordan Wilson (York United)