HIGHLIGHTS: Valour surge to joint-third with resounding win over York9

YORK REGION – Who saw this coming?

Fresh off a pair of embarrassing losses, Valour FC rebounded with a surprising 4-2 win over York9 FC on Sunday, with Tyler Attardo scoring two goals and Marco Bustos pulling the creative strings for the Winnipeg-based side.

York squandered a glorious chance to move into third place with a victory, while also keeping pressure on front-runners Forge FC and Cavalry FC. Instead, the Nine Stripes dropped to sixth and 11 points off the top of the table. Surely, their faint hopes of winning the Fall season were dashed with this loss.

Outscored 11-1 in their last two game – both losses – Valour moved into a tie with Pacific FC for third place with their first victory since Aug. 28.

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Valour coach Rob Gale made six line-up changes from Thursday’s home loss to Forge FC, including giving starts to centre back Skylar Thomas, midfielder Dylan Sacramento and Attardo. Tyson Farago started in net for Valour, as Mathias Janssens did not travel with the team due to personal reasons. Valour was also missing Michael Petrasso due to injury.

Y9 coach Jim Brennan went with the exact same starting 11 from a midweek road win over Pacific FC, which meant Ryan Telfer was on the bench upon his return from international duty with Trinidad and Tobago. Telfer entered the game at the start of the second half. Brennan confirmed after the game that Telfer picked up an injury while away with Trinidad, and he wanted to managed his midfielder’s minutes on Sunday.

York opened the scoring when Rodrigo Gattas hit a left-footed one-timer off a cross played into the box from the right flank by Morey Doner.

Valour fought back and equalized when Skylar Thomas nodded Dylan Sacramento’s corner kick across the box for Attardo to head home. Two minutes later, Sacramento peeled off the wing and hit a screamer of a shot from outside the box that ended up in the far corner of the net. Sacramento’s highlight-reel goal was his first of the CPL season.

Attarado padded Valour’s lead with a tap-in from in close following some lovely buildup play by Bustos and Sacramento. York clawed back when Gattas headed home a great cross played to the back post by Doner, but a smart finish from Ali Musse off a pass from Bustos restored Valour’s two-goal advantage.

Both of these teams return to action next Saturday. Valour visits HFX Wanderers (1:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer and CBC Sports), while York travels to Alberta to take on FC Edmonton (3:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).

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Box Score

7′ – Rodrigo Gattas (York9 FC)
18′ – Tyler Attardo (Valour FC)
20′ – Dylan Sacramento (Valour FC)
55′ – Tyler Attardo (Valour FC)
59′ – Rodrigo Gattas (York9 FC)
65′ – Ali Musse (Valour FC)

43′ Yellow – José Galán (Valour FC)
75′ Yellow – Dylan Carreiro (Valour FC)

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Three Key Performers

Tyler Attardo (Valour FC)

The Canadian teenager made the most of starting ahead of Italian veteran Michele Paolucci by bagging a brace on the day, moving to six goals in the season. At this point, it’s hard not to see Attardo figuring into Valour’s starting XI consistently.

Marco Bustos (Valour FC)

Caused all kinds of problems for York with his bright, attacking play down the right side, and did well to pick apart the Y9 backline when he could. Did especially well to read a through pass and find Attardo, and was lively in the middle of the park, too.

Rodrigo Gattas (York9 FC)

Effectively linked up with Morey Doner to score two goals, bringing his season tally to seven. Gattas’ header for his second was well-worked, but his ability to cause problems kept York9 in the match, despite the Nine Stripes conceding four goals.