TORONTO, Ontario – The Montreal Impact and York9 FC fought to 2-2 draw in the first leg of the Canadian Championship third round, Wednesday night at York Lions Stadium. Montreal’s Omar Browne opened the scoring in the second half, before York9 FC scored two goals back-to-back, but Designated Player Saphir Taïder was able to tie things up by converting a late penalty for the visitors.
“We were too soft at times,” said Impact head coach Rémi Garde. “I think York’s first goal is similar to the ones we’ve conceded lately, which is a nuisance. This game had a lot of ups and downs, and with a little more technical finesse in our game in the second half, we would’ve created more chances to take an even bigger lead. We had the opportunity to push this game in our favour. In the second leg, we’ll need to be prepared and play a great game at home to make it to the next round.”
A few Impact players were seeing action in the national tournament for the very first time: defenders Zakaria Diallo, Zachary Brault-Guillard, and Daniel Kinumbe, midfielder Omar Browne, as well as forward Maxi Urruti all started for the Montreal club, earning their very first minutes in the Canadian Championship.
The hosts created the game’s first real opportunity in the 18th minute, when Montreal native Diyaeddine Abzi tried a powerful shot from outside the box, but it went just wide of the left post.
Montreal was lurking dangerously in the 33rd minute, the ball finally finding its way to full-back Daniel Kinumbe, wide-open on the left side, but his ensuing cross into the danger area was promptly cleared by a York defender.
In the 36th minute, the Impact was at it again, when midfielder Samuel Piette recovered a ball in the final third, made his way forward, and tried picking out the top corner, but it clipped the crossbar and went out.
Montreal almost took the lead on the cusp of half-time, through an effort from inside the box by midfielder Mathieu Choinière, but goalkeeper Nathan Ingham dove to his left to make the save.
“It’s what we were expecting,” said midfielder Samuel Piette. “They fought hard. It was the first time a CPL club took on an MLS team. They were very motivated. It was a battle tonight, but I don’t think we underestimated them. I think it’s a good result for us, despite the two goals conceded. Scoring two away goals is good for us through two legs.”
Goals after the break
York9 FC thought they had a clear look on goal in the 55th minute, when the ball was deflected directly to Simon Adjei, alone in the box, but defender Rudy Camacho was able to slide in and block his ensuing shot.
But it was the Impact who managed to take the lead in the 62nd minute, pouncing on a defensive mistake to score the game’s first goal. The Impact combined nicely, with Mathieu Choinière eventually chipping a ball behind the defenders for Urruti. Although the defender was there first, his header towards the goalkeeper lacked accuracy, and Omar Browne was there to tap it into an empty net.
The hosts thought they tied things up in the 78th minute, when a wide-open Kyle Porter received a pass behind the Montreal defense before tucking it in past Diop, but the play was quickly whistled for offside.
Finally, in the 83rd minute, York9 FC made it count, when forward Ryan Telfer received a pass in the box, controlled it, and placed it past Diop into the top corner to tie the game at a goal apiece.
Then, in the 88th minute, the hosts were able to grab the lead, after a ricochet in the box ended with Rodrigo Battas sliding it in to give the hosts the lead.
But in stoppage time, striker Maxi Urruti was awarded a penalty. Substitute Saphir Taïder stepped up to take it, sending Ingham the wrong way to bring the score back level.
“Whether it’s in the league or in a cup competition against a lower-division team, it’s always disappointing to concede two goals,” said centre-back Rudy Camacho. “We need to correct this, because we have an important game against Toronto at home coming up, and we’ll need to be a lot more rigorous defensively.”
The Montreal Impact will play a first game this year against its biggest rival, Toronto FC, on Saturday, July 13, at 7:30pm at Stade Saputo (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98.5, TSN 690). Montreal will then head to Ohio to take on the Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, July 20, at 7:30pm (TVA Sports, 98.5, TSN 690), before hosting York 9 FC at Stade Saputo for the second leg of the Canadian Championship quarterfinal on Wednesday, July 24, at 7:30pm (TICKETS – 98.5, TSN 690).
MTL – GK-Clément Diop; D-Zachary Brault-Guillard, Víctor Cabrera, Zakaria Diallo, Rudy Camacho, Daniel Kinumbe; M-Ken Krolicki, Samuel Piette (Micheal Azira 85’); F-Mathieu Choinière (Saphir Taïder 66’), Maximiliano Urruti, Omar Browne (Shamit Shome 66’)
Subs not used – James Pantemis, Harry Novillo, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Orji Okwonkwo
Y9FC – GK-Nathan Ingham; D- Diyaeddine Abzi, Luca Gasparotto, Morey Doner, Roger Thompson; M- Joseph Di Chiara, Kyle Porter (Austin Ricci 84’), Manuel Aparicio, Ryan Telfer, Wataru Murofushi; F-Simon Adjei Karlsson (Rodrigo Gattas 73’)
Subs not used – Matthew Silva, Daniel Gogarty, Steven Furlano, Emilio Estevez, Michael Cox
MTL – Browne 62’
Y9FC – Telfer (Gattas) 83’
Y9FC – Gattas (Gasparotto) 88’
MTL – Taïder 90+2’
Y9FC - Adjei Karlsson 22’
MTL – Brault-Guillard 31’
Y9FC – Di Chiara 51’
Y9FC – Gattas 88’