HIGHLIGHTS: York9, Impact all even after dramatic 1st leg draw

YORK REGION – A flurry of late goals left York9 and Montreal Impact even in the first leg of their Canadian Championship Qualifying Round 3 tie on Sunday, with the two Canadian outfits drawing 2-2 at York Lions Stadium.

Neither side managed a clear-cut chance in the first half, though numerous long-range efforts threatened Y9’s Nathan Ingham and Montreal’s Clément Diop. Y9 held their own for much of the match, their first against MLS opposition in club history.

The Impact’s opening goal came as a gift in the 62nd minute, when Luca Gaspartto’s misplayed clearance landed at the feet of Omar Browne six yards from goal. The Impact wide player made no mistake with his side’s first clear-cut chance of the match.

Ryan Telfer would find an equalizer for York9 in the 83rd minute, when the midfielder laced a half-volley from outside the box, bulging the net behind Diop in dramatic fashion.

Then, just a few minutes later, Telfer’s service off a corner found Rodigo Gattas at the back post. York9’s Chilean forward buried his chance.

Montreal would even things right back up, however, with Saphir Taïder finishing a penalty in injury time. A late attempt from Joe Di Chiara that smashed off the crossbar was the final kick of the match, capping an end-to-end final 10 minutes of play.

These sides will meet again in the second leg on Wednesday, July 24 (7:30 p.m. ET/OneSoccer) at Stade Saputo in Montreal. York9 are set to return to Canadian Premier League action this weekend with a home tilt against FC Edmonton on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET/OneSoccer).

Box Score

62′ – Omar Browne (Montreal Impact)
83′ – Ryan Telfer (York9 FC)
88 – Rodrigo Gattas (York9 FC)
90+2′ – Saphir Taïder  (Montreal Impact)

23′ Yellow – Simon Adjei (York9 FC)
31′ Yellow – Zachary Brault-Guillard (Montreal Impact)
50′ Yellow – Joe DI Chiara (York9 FC)
88′ Yellow – Rodrigo Gattas (York9 FC)

Three Key Performers

Ryan Telfer (York9): What. A. Goal. Telfer’s incredible second-half equalizer came at exactly the right time for York9, breathing life into the final 10 minutes of the match and giving the Nine Stripes a lifeline heading into the second leg. Telfer is now both the first goalscorer in CPL history, and the first CPL player to score against an MLS team.

Omar Browne (Montreal Impact): Electric over the course of the match and always offering an outlet on the attack, Browne read his team’s first goal well enough to poach a mis-played header back to goal, and was an ever-present threat when in possession.

Joe Di Chiara (York9): Absolutely all over the field throughout the match, the bruising defensive midfielder contained the Impact on a small field and went toe-to-toe with Samuel Piette over 90 minutes … no easy feat, and certainly one worthy of note.