HIGHLIGHTS: Valour snaps winless streak as missed PK haunts York9

At long last, Valour FC’s winless streak is over (snapped at 11 matches), as they triumphed 2-0 on the road over York9 FC on Saturday.

The visitors pulled ahead early, as they’ve done on numerous occasions this year, Paolucci finding the net with a long-range strike that deflected off Y9 defender Luca Gasparotto for the Italian’s second marker in a Valour uniform.

The Nine Stripes took control of the match from that point, with an abundance of dangerous chances and the vast majority of possession to end the first half, but they weren’t able to find the last ball. The second half was a similar story, with York9 commanding just over 75% possession as they desperately sought a goal to push their unbeaten streak at home to five games.

The home side’s opportunity came just after the hour mark, as Valour’s Adam Mitter caught the ball with his hand to send York9 to the penalty spot. Rodrigo Gattas stepped up to take the PK, firing it straight at Mathias Janssens. The Valour keeper bravely stopped the penalty and a dangerous second chance, as referee David Barrie refused to give York9 another penalty for a hard tackle in the initial spot kick’s aftermath.

Valour’s second goal came at the death, as York9 threw everyone (including goalkeeper Nathan Ingham) into the box for a corner kick. The ball skipped out to Michael Petrasso near the halfway line, and he found the empty net from way out to bury Y9’s comeback effort.

York9 will return to the pitch next Saturday as their homestand continues with a match against Pacific FC (3:30 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer). Valour, meanwhile, will play at home for the first time in August, as they host Forge FC on Saturday at IG Field (6:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 p.m. CT, on OneSoccer).

Box Score

7′ – Michele Paolucci (Valour FC)
90+3′ – Michael Petrasso (Valour FC)

60′ Yellow – Emmanuel Zambazis (York9 FC)
66′ Yellow – Adam Mitter (Valour FC)
82′ Yellow – Jose Galan (Valour FC)

Three Key Performers

Mathias Janssens (Valour FC)

The goalkeeper was called upon eight times in this match, and he stepped up each and every time. The penalty, while not a well-placed effort, was a powerful shot, and Janssens showed impressive tenacity in stopping the second chance as well.

Diyaedinne Abzi (York9 FC)

The Nine Stripes’ left back was a steam engine all afternoon, making tremendous runs up the wings and attempting to find targets in the box with crosses. His energy brought a spark to the York9 attack, and he was nearly rewarded for it by drawing a penalty kick.

Yohan Le Bourhis (Valour FC)

The 19-year-old centre-back had a quietly stellar match in his debut for Valour. He was a major factor in keeping the clean sheet, with a team-high nine clearances to get his side out of trouble. He showed no sign of nerves despite being thrown so quickly into the starting eleven.