HIGHLIGHTS: Edmonton defeat Y9, but fail to advance in CanChamp

EDMONTON – York9 FC are the third and final CPL team to qualify for the third round of the Canadian Championship, as they eliminated FC Edmonton at Clarke Field on Wednesday. With a second-leg score of 1-0 in favour of FCE, York9 won the tie 3-2 on aggregate thanks to their 3-1 home victory a week previously.

The match wasn’t much of an attacking showcase, with just one late goal to speak of, but that was enough for Jimmy Brennan and the Nine Stripes. They played a tight, defensive game for the most part, trying not to spread themselves out too far, and it worked, save for Mélé Temguia’s breakthrough in stoppage time. York9 took just five shots on the night (none on target), opting instead to hold up the ball and neutralize the Eddies’ attack.

After a toothless first hour or so of the game, FC Edmonton came alive a little later in the game. Although they began sending cross after cross into the box, they weren’t able to finish any chances. Finally, at the end of the third minute of stoppage time, Temguia managed to jump on a loose ball in the box and beat goalkeeper Nathan Ingham to put fans on the edge of their seats for a brief moment.

It was too little, too late for the Eddies, though. They managed one more chance, with a very late corner that Ingham punched away from the box, and so York9 held on to advance.

With a 3-2 aggregate win in the bag and FC Edmonton now in the rear-view mirror, York9’s Canadian Championship journey will continue in mid-July with a matchup against the Montreal Impact of MLS.

Both sides are right back at it in CPL action this Saturday, June 15. FC Edmonton will remain at home to host Cavalry FC in another installment of Al Classico (2:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer), while York9 return to York Lions Stadium where they’ll take on Pacific FC (12:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).

Box Score

93′ – Mélé Temguia (FC Edmonton)

43′ – Yellow Card – Randy Edwini-Bonsu (FC Edmonton)
56′ – Yellow Card – Daniel Gogarty (York9 FC)
85′ – Yellow Card – James Marcelin (FC Edmonton)

Three Key Performers

Nathan Ingham (York9 FC)

York9 could well be out of this tournament if it weren’t for their goalkeeper. Ingham made several excellent saves on Wednesday, including one point-blank on Oumar Diouck in the 75th minute, and he was a commanding presence in the box on set-pieces.

Mélé Temguia (FC Edmonton) 

The only Eddies player to find the back of the net, the centre-back did well once he began joining the attack more as his side chased the game. He also did everything asked of him defensively as the last man back for FC Edmonton, with three tackles, two clearances, an interception, and a blocked shot.

Luca Gasparotto (York9 FC)

In a game where his team was expected to sit back, the pressure was on York9’s backline commandant. Gasparotto was very strong in quite a physical game, leaping up for seven aerial duels and making a team-best nine clearances. He and Daniel Gogarty have made it extremely difficult for opponents to threaten from crosses against York9 FC.