HIGHLIGHTS: York9’s strong start holds off late FCE surge

EDMONTON – York9 FC took care of business early at Clarke Field on Saturday, as they scored a trio of first-half goals to beat FC Edmonton 3-1. Shaking off their loss from last weekend, York9 moved into joint-third in the Fall season standings with 16 points.

The Nine Stripes got on the board in the eighth minute, as Ryan Telfer lobbed a long-distance free kick into the box. With the Eddies’ defenders failing to keep track of him, Luca Gasparotto rose above the crowd to put the ball in the net with a header for his first CPL goal.

Just over 10 minutes later, Rodrigo Gattas extended the visitors’ lead; York9 left-back Diyaeddine Abzi cut in from the touchline superbly and sent a cross into the six-yard box. After deflecting off both Gattas and an FCE defender, the ball found its way over the line to make it 2-0. Ryan Telfer found a goal of his own shortly thereafter, as Simon Adjei spotted him in acres of space on the edge of the box and Telfer scored with a clean finish along the ground.

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Eddies coach Jeff Paulus tried to reverse his side’s fortunes with a couple of halftime subs, bringing on a pair of strikers in Tomi Ameobi and Easton Ongaro. The move proved fruitful, as both players saw a number of opportunities in front of goal. Ongaro broke FCE’s 335-minute goalless streak midway through the second half, as he deflected a long-range shot past Y9 ‘keeper Nathan Ingham.

The late stages of the game were all FC Edmonton, as the home side pressed hard in search of a comeback. Although unable to bank more than one goal, they certainly made it interesting down the stretch; York9 needed a pair of heroic last-ditch blocks by Morey Doner to preserve their two-goal cushion.

Both sides will take part in next Saturday’s CPL tripleheader. The Eddies head east for a date with HFX Wanderers FC (1:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer). York9, meanwhile, will close out the weekend by hosting Cavalry FC at York Lions Stadium (6:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).

Box Score

8′ – Luca Gasparotto (York9 FC)
21′ – Rodrigo Gattas (York9 FC)
31′ – Ryan Telfer (York9 FC)
65′ – Easton Ongaro (FC Edmonton)

35′ Yellow – Ramon Soria (FC Edmonton)
41′ Yellow – Ajeej Sarkaria (FC Edmonton)

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Three Key Performers

Ryan Telfer (York9 FC)

Returning to the lineup after his stint with the Trinidad and Tobago national team, Telfer reminded York9 fans why he’s so important to their attack. He assisted Gasparotto’s goal with an excellent dead-ball delivery and finished well for his own marker, also leading his team with a 92% pass accuracy.

Morey Doner (York9 FC)

The fullback might be owed several drinks by his teammates after he saved them on multiple occasions, stopping what looked like a sure goal with a sliding block as Easton Ongaro stared down an open net. He was called into action defensively a little more than usual in this one, and he did everything asked of him.

Easton Ongaro (FC Edmonton)

The Eddies’ attack changed dramatically when Ongaro and Tomi Ameobi entered at half, as they immediately caused problems for York9’s backline. His physical presence created space in the box, as he surely could’ve had two or three goals had he not been stopped on the doorstep.