A.S. Blainville walked away satisfied Wednesday night.
The Première ligue de soccer du Québec outfit played York9 FC to a goalless draw in the opening leg of their Canadian Championship tilt, setting up an intriguing second leg away to their Canadian Premier League opposition in York Region next week.
York9, which enjoyed nearly 70% possession in the match, focused the bulk of its attacks up the wings in the first half, with former Blainville wingback Diyaeddine Abzi getting plenty of attention. However, the Nine Stripes rarely accumulated possession in the final third — and almost never in front of the penalty area.
The best chance of the first half fell for Blainville when Pierre-Rudolph Mayard smashed a shot off the crossbar, nearly giving the PLSQ side the early lead.
York9 assistant coach Carmine Issaco shifted to three up top at the start of the second half, giving the CPL side more of a cutting edge.
Chances eventually came late in the second half, with Blainville’s Mayard missing an uncontested cross just meters away from goal. York9 followed up with a similar chance, as Emilio Estevez and Cyrus Rollocks came close to opening the scoring with a mad scramble in the penalty area.
Blainville’s size continued to give Y9 fits until the final moments as they defended aggressively, making life difficult for the Y9 midfield trio Estevez, Manny Aparicio and Wataru Murofushi.
The tie now switches to York Region and York Lions Stadium for the second leg on Wednesday (7:00 p.m. ET/OneSoccer). It will be York9’s first match at home in their inaugural season. Before that, York9 will head out to VanIsle to take on Pacific FC on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT/OneSoccer).
Wandrille Lefevre (A.S. Blainville)
The former Montreal Impact defender played in the middle of the park for Blainville and was a key link that ran through the PLSQ side for the full 90. Tidy with possession, the 29-year-old led his side in passes (50) and touches (71). He also created off set pieces, with a nice free kick delivery leading to a decent chance in the first half.
Erwann Ofouya (A.S. Blainville)
A strong performance in goal for the Blainville veteran, who was kept busy despite the score. An outstretched Ofouya likely saved the game for the Quebec side in the 79th minute, in one of several goalmouth scrambles Blainville was forced to defend.
Daniel Gogarty (York9 FC)
The young centre-back was looked upon to keep the ball moving for York9 in their three-at-the-back system, putting together an astonishing 111 passes. Over 50 of those passes came in Blainville’s half, with a few that managed to slip through the defensive line. He defended well, too, sticking in a key tackle late to keep a resurgent Blainville at bay.