York9’s Isacco tells team to ‘hold a higher standard’ after stalemate

BLAINVILLE, Que. – Assistant coach Carmine Isacco wants York9 to ‘hold (itself to) a higher standard’ following a 0-0 Canadian Championship first leg draw to PLSQ champions A.S. Blainville on Wednesday evening.

The visiting York9 left the province of Quebec with nothing gained, but nothing lost following a draw at Blainville’s Parc Equestre, a goalless result that leaves the CPL outfit winless in three games.

“It takes nothing away from (A.S. Blainville), it’s just that our standard has to be higher from our better players,” Isacco, who was filling in for Y9 head coach Jimmy Brennen, said after the match. “Even when they came into the game, like a Ryan Telfer, like a Simon Adjei, these guys have to hold a higher standard and we’ve got to make sure that we set that example from our side of it.”

With a trip across the country to play Pacific FC on Saturday, York9 will need to quickly regroup and focus on league play. For goalkeeper Nathan Ingham, the going has been bumpy up until now, but the squad is inching towards their full potential.

“We’re not going to overthink it,” Ingham said. “It is a work in progress because we’re playing good football, we’re working out of the back and we’re doing thing that you can’t put together in one, two, three months with a brand new group of guys put together.”

“Obviously when you don’t get a result there’s an extra pressure added but it’s our job, we’re pros, we move forward and we forget about this one.”

Isacco added that his team weren’t surprised with Blainville’s level of quality despite the little information York9 had on their opposition, despite identifying a few talents such as Wandrille Lefevre and Pierre-Rudolphe Mayard.

“I was happy that we got on the front foot, I was happy that we dictated the tempo of the game,” Isacco said. “It’s just finishing in the final third and getting more opportunities in the final third. It’s still a work in progress.”

For A.S. Blainville, getting through the first leg without conceding an away goal against professional opposition was a win in and of itself. Naturally, Blainville head coach Emanuel Macagno was the happier of the two coaches after the stalemate.

“I imagine that on the other side they must not be happy because because to not win against an opponent from an inferior level is never fun,” Macagno said. “We worked hard to try and be at the level for this game and I think we were tonight. The score reflects that.”

The X-factor that makes Macagno even happier is that while York9 will be travelling to the west coast, his squad will be comfortably at home. A.S. Blainville has the luxury of having a bye week in the Premiere Ligue de Soccer du Quebec, though Macagno and his squad preferred to keep their heads cool over that detail.

“We must not forget that they will have their home opener, with their own fans (on Wednesday night),” Macagno reasoned. “So I think that they think of it as a big advantage and they’re not behind (in the leg) either. They can still go and rest easy.”

Blainville centre back Nafi Dicko-Raynauld added: “They have a pretty deep squad and I think that even their bench players could do the job just as well. It will be a factor but i don’t think it’ll be the most important factor in the game.”

Both teams will meet again at York Lions Stadium on Wednesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. ET.

The winner from that match will move on to play FC Edmonton in Qualifying Round 2 of the Canadian Championship.