HIGHLIGHTS: York United FC vs. Valour FC (September 23, 2022)
York United will live to fight another day in the CPL’s playoff race, as they downed Valour FC in a commanding 3-1 win at York Lions Stadium on Friday.
Despite knowing that a loss or a draw in that game would officially end their playoff hopes, York extended their lives, for now, allowing them to get to the next matchday without being eliminated unless Pacific FC beats the Halifax Wanderers this weekend.
After going down early to a Valour penalty, York fought back nicely, scoring three unanswered goals to send the fans home happy, marking their last home regular season game of the season in style.
Valour nearly opened the scoring in the 12th minute, as Sean Rea did well to find the run of a wide-open Matteo de Brienne in the box, but his header would be too central from in close, allowing York’s Eleias Himaras to make an easy save.
Just two minutes later, however, things wouldn’t be as easy for Himaras, who’d be forced to come out to try and stop Walter Ponce, who was all alone on a breakaway. There, despite having a good opportunity to get a shot off, he decided to try and go around Himaras, a move that caught the goalkeeper by surprise, as he ended up taking down Ponce in his attempt to try and snatch the ball away from the attacker.
As a result, he ended up giving away a stone-cold penalty, one that Stefan Cebara calmly stepped up to and buried into the bottom-left corner, giving Valour a crucial road lead, while also putting York on the ropes early on.
Yet, while York’s back was to the ropes, that didn’t mean that they didn’t have any fight left in them, as they looked to get back in the game. They proved that in the 34th minute, too, when Osaze De Rosario did well to pick out Mo Babouli in the box, who then took a touch and rifled into the top corner with a fantastic strike, tying things up.
Then, not long after, Kevin Dos Santos nearly turned things around completely for York, as he managed to get on the end of a lofted Paris Gee cross, with his goalbound shot only staying out thanks to the strong hands of Valour’s Rayane Yesli in net.
Continuing a strong end to the half, Gee decided to have an attempt himself right before half time, lining up a shot from distance, one that sailed just wide of the mark.
Other than that, however, that’d be all that the first half would have to offer, as both teams headed to the locker room tied at 1-1.
After that break, Valour would come out strongly, as they tried to catch York in transition. Through that, Rea did well to find some space in midfield in the 51st minute, where he’d have a look at goal on his left foot, just slashing his shot wide of the mark.
At the other end, however, that’d pave the way for York to grab the lead. It’d come through an unlikely source, too, as it’d be Chrisnovic N’Sa who’d sneak up the pitch from right back, where he’d unleash a rocket from the edge of the box on his left foot, one that would fly into the opposite top corner, finding the back of the net after bouncing off of the post.
Trying to get back into the game, Valour started to push, as Ponce tried a shot from distance in the 59th minute, one with plenty of power in it, but one that Himaras would have no problems getting in front of.
Continuing the end-to-end action, Michael Petrasso found a nice pocket of space for York, where he’d do well to curl a shot towards the top corner, one that required a big save from Yesli to keep out. Then, a minute later, he tried to catch Yesli with a similar attempt, one that the goalkeeper would be equal to once again.
Then, at the other end, Ponce nearly tied things up just minutes later, as a great ball fell to him wide open in the box, but his shot would somehow be deflected over after a big block from York’s Dominick Zator, who saved his team of conceding what seemed like a sure goal.
Not long after, Diego Gutiérrez had a look for Valour on a half-volley from distance, but his attempt would sail just wide of the mark, despite having all sorts of venom in it.
Yet, for all of their efforts to claw back the score, that’d all be for naught in the 75th minute, as Babouli found Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio with a great through ball, one that he’d finish from close range to give his team a 3-1 lead.
Not satisifed with that lead, either, De Rosario came close to scoring in the 90th minute, stealing a ball from Andy Baquero before firing a shot from a tight angle, one that was only kept out by a strong kick save from Yesli.
From there, however, with their lead still firmly intact, York managed to see things over the line, confirming this big victory, one that continues a strong run of form from them.
16′ — Stefan Cebara (Valour FC)
34′ — Mo Babouli (York United)
57′ — Chrisnovic N’Sa (York United)
75′ — Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio (York United)
44′ — Yellow: Rocco Romeo (Valour FC)
90′ — Yellow: Kévin Rendón (Valour FC)