In the tradition of the classic cup tie, one team raised its game and the other, the one expected to win, reverted to complacency, a dangerous state of mind when you have trouble in bolting the back-door.
And so it proved. York9, one goal at home in their last five CanPL games contrived to pierce the porous Impact rearguard twice, something they have achieved on only two occasions in 11 league games this season.
In the inaugural meeting between sides from their respective leagues, the first success should and would have gone to the CanPL side, but for Nathan Ingham’s rush of blood to the head in the last minute of regulation time.
Gasparotto provided a weak header on the end of Diallo’s through ball allowing possession to fall to Urruti going away from goal. But the York9 ‘keeper inexplicably clattered into the Argentinian striker providing a lifeline to morose Montreal.
Even after that, in added time, York9 had a chance to seal a game they should have won. Abzi’s whipped-in cross was juggled like a bar of soap by Diop, and Di Chiara from close-in was able only to fire his effort off the upper side of the cross-bar.
Sure, there is another 90 mins to come, and if that was the source of Montreal’s misplaced comfort on the night, it still doesn’t excuse some rank bad central defending for the second game in succession.
It’s becoming way too easy to breach the heart of this Impact defence, and Remi Garde must be having reservations. If he threw the same three in this evening to redeem themselves after last Saturday’s below par display, then they failed his test again.
It’s not sophisticated football that’s breaking this defensive unit down, it’s plain bread and butter situations that are leading to goals. Rodrigo Gattas’ ball from halfway sent Telfer in between Diallo, whose form seems to dwindle as the season extends, and Cabrera. The York9 forward did pretty much as he pleased, picking the ball up and rifling an accurate volley which gave Diop little chance.
That equalized an opening goal that Montreal barely had to work for, Gasparotto misplacing his header back to Ingham from Choiniere’s dinked ball. Browne accepted the opportunity beyond the stranded ‘keeper, side-footing home for the easiest goal he’ll ever score.
The home crowd’s expectancy, and surprise went off the scale four minutes after they saw their team draw level through that Telfer goal. The Nine Stripes won a corner on the left. Swung in by Telfer, Gasparotto out-jumped Camacho, directing his header to the far post for Gattas to convert. Gattas had been on the field only for 15 minutes, but here he was with an assist and a goal, as Shome, the nearest player to him, switched off.
Two minutes then for York9 to hold on for a famous victory. It was not to be however, thanks to Ingham’s rashness. Taider, a 65th minute substitute got his team-mates out of jail, converting the spot-kick with consummate ease, ensuring an undeserved share of the spoils.
The teams do it all again in two weeks time at Stade Saputo, where the Impact with two away goals in the bag will expect to progress. They will need to show improvement upon this evening’s performance to make that happen however.
York9 - Ingham - Doner, Gasparotto, Thompson, Abzi - Murofushi, Di Chiara - Aparicio (c), Telfer, Porter (Ricci, 84) - Adjei Karlsson (Gattas, 73)
IMFC - Diop - Cabrera, Diallo, Camacho - Brault-Guillard, Piette (Azira, 85), Krolicki, Kinumbe - Choiniere (Shome, 65), Urruti, Browne (Taider, 65)
Match Officials -
Referee - Yusri Rudolf
Asst Refs - Gianni Facchini, Sean Hornsby
4th Official - David Barrie
Attendance - 5252