Valour spoil York United FC's home opener, secure three points on the road

Giancarlo Aulino
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Sunday, April 16, 2023

Valour spoiled York United FC's home opener as they picked up the 2-0 and secured three points to start the 2023 CPL season. 

It was both the home and season opener for York United FC, who were kicking off their fifth season at York Lions Stadium on the York University campus in Toronto.  

Mo Babouli was the focal point for York as he was a presence in the middle and was relied on to facilitate the ball to his teammates and creating scoring opportunities.

Valour were more active in York's box and were able to test goalkeeper Niko Giantsopolous with their shot selection. York, on the other hand, had moments where they attempted one pass too many instead of taking a shot on target.

Max Ferrari was a threat in the attack for York as he used his speed and crafty play to find openings and maneuver his way around Valour's defenders on the right-wing. York United thought they had  got on the scoresheet in the 34th minute, but their goal was waved off due to offside. 

Valour had a great scoring opportunity in the 43rd minute as Raphael Ohin had space in the box, but he struck the ball wide of the net. Giantsopoulos came up big for York at the end of the first half as he made a save to break up a play. It was a risky play as a mistimed challeng could have resulted in a penalty kick for Valour. 

Valour got on the scoresheet in the 52nd minute off an own-goal by York's Jonathan Grant who attempted to clear the ball, but unfortunately for him, it went in the back of the net and gave the visitors the 1-0 lead. They added another goal moments later on a similar play, a cross from the left-side, but this time Novak got a touch on the ball and put in the back of the net rather than an own-goal. 

Martin Nash made adjustments as he brought on Osaze De Rosario, who was the club's leading goalscorer last season. 

York United had some promising moments off their set piece plays as Paris Gee attempted a bicycle kick, but it was blocked. Oussama Alou had a few scoring opportunities wasn't able to get his shot on target. 

Brian Wright had an great opportunity in the 87th minute as he received a nice through ball and found himself on a break, but his shot was blocked by a Valour defender who slid in with a perfectly timed challenge. Moments later, York had another great opportunity with Ferrari and De Rosario linking up, but De Rosario wasn't able to get a touch on Ferrari's cross. 

York played better later in the second half, but it was too late as they were unable to get back within one goal. Valour took the season opener and will now look to carry the momentum to their Canadian Championship clash with TSS FC Rovers, while York United will play Vancouver FC.

Photo Credit: Valour (@ValourFootball - Twitter)