By Darnel Harris
Going into Stade Saputo in Montreal, York9’s errors at home on July 10th had created a difficult task. Gifting two goals to Montreal meant York either needed to win this game or score at least two goals.
After suffering a scare in the first match, Montreal Impact’s coach Rémi Garde took York’s threat seriously, and played his regular starters. York bent but did not break nth early going in front of fifteen thousand hostile fans. Acrobatic goalkeeping by Nathan Ingham denied Montreal’s offense for nearly an hour, before a 55th minute penalty shot was awarded to Montreal’s star striker Ignacio Piatti. Piatti’s goal made York regret missing a wide-open net in the 8th minute, and they were only able to get a single shot on target.
The 1 -0 loss sent eliminated York elimination from the Canadian Championship. Even so, coach Jim Brennan was pleased with his team’s quality, but stressed the need to limit costly defensive errors in future games.
In Vancouver, Canadian Premier League Spring champions, Calvary FC, swept past MLS’ Vancouver Whitecaps by putting two of their three shots into the back of the net. Although Vancouver took over eighteen shots and held sixty-eight percent possession, just three were on target, and the Whitecaps could not break down Calvary’s disciplined defence. Although the Whitecaps scored in the 67th minute, the sixteen thousand stunned fans at BC Place could only watch watch as the Whitecaps became the first MLS team to lose to a CPL team.
After the game Calvary captain Nik Ledgerwood argued the biggest difference was self belief – every Calvary player believed they could win, while Vancouver’s squad clearly lacked confidence.
New adventures continue in August for Canadian Premier League fans, as the Hamilton Forge begin play against Guatemala’s Antigua GFC in the 2019 CONCACAF League, the second-tier regional club tournament. The top six League teams will have an opportunity to play in the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League, against North America, Mexico and the Caribbean’s ten best clubs. Calvary FC will continue their quest to qualify directly for the Champions League whhne they take on the Montreal Impact on August 7th in Montreal and August 14th in Calgary.