York9 FC comes from behind to draw Atlético Ottawa at The Island Games

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What a crazy debut for Atlético Ottawa.

The CPL’s first expansion franchise took a 2-0 lead early in the second half against York9 FC on Saturday, and looked set to record a huge upset win in their league debut at The Island Games in Charlottetown.

But it all fell apart rather quickly for Ottawa, who had a player sent off and then conceded two goals in quick succession, as the capital club settled for a 2-2 draw against the Nine Stripes.

Mohamed Kourouma and Malcolm Shaw scored for Atlético, who played the last 40 minutes a man down after Vashon Neufville was sent off. Rookie Lowell Wright and Joseph Di Chiara replied for York9.

There wasn’t much between the sides in what was a pretty quiet first half, with York9’s Ryan Telfer and Di Chiara carving out the best scoring chances, although Ottawa ‘keeper Nacho Zabal was never seriously tested.

But then history was made in first-half injury time. Neufville made a scampering run down the left flank and burst into the box before playing the ball inside the box for Kourouma who beat Y9 goalkeeper Nathan Ingham to score Ottawa’s first CPL goal.

Ottawa padded its lead shortly after the halftime break. Ben Fisk played a great through ball for Francisco Acuña, and the Mexican rushed down the right side and played a square pass for Shaw, whose shot deflected off the back of Y9 defender Morey Doner and into the back of the net.

Ottawa was reduced to 10 men just minutes later when Neufville earned his second yellow card, which proved to be a major turning point in the match.

Rookie Max Ferrari went on a great run before setting up fellow substitute Wright for his goal in the 62nd minute. At age 16, Wright set a new record as the youngest goal scorer in CPL history.

Moments later Y9 was awarded a penalty, which Di Chiara converted to level the score. York carried the bulk of the play for the rest of the match, but couldn’t break open Ottawa’s defence and had to settle for a share of the points.

Notably, Spanish striker Alvaro Rivero, signed by Y9 this off-season, earned a start in his CPL debut. Y9 was without midfielders Chris Mannella and Michael Petrasso and fullback Fugo Segawa due to injuries, while captain Manny Aparicio started on the bench. Ironman defender Luca Gasparotto, the only CPLer to play all 2520 minutes in the 2019 season, wore the captain’s armband.

York9 FC returns to action on Aug. 18 when it takes on Pacific FC (1:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. AT), while Atlético Ottawa faces Valour FC on Aug. 19 (1:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. AT)

RELATED READING: Mista ‘extremely proud’ of Atlético Ottawa in 1st match || Y9 youngsters shine in Island Games comeback vs. Ottawa

Volkswagen Keys to the Match (presented on OneSoccer before kick-off).
Volkswagen Keys to the Match (presented on OneSoccer before kick-off).

York9 FC: Flank relationship with Telfer – A pretty quiet game from the Trinidad & Tobago international, but he was hardly the only one for Y9.

Atlético Ottawa: Manage nerves and approach – With a 2-0 lead, Ottawa was reduced to 10 players in the 50th minute, and Y9 stormed back to level the score 12 minutes later.


45’+3’ – Mohamed Kourouma (Atlético Ottawa)
47’ – Malcolm Shaw (Atlético Ottawa)
60’ – Lowell Wright (York9 FC)
62’ – Joseph Di Chiara (York9 FC)

14’ Yellow – Joseph Di Chiara (York9 FC)
14’ Yellow – Vashon Neufville (Atlético Ottawa)
50’ 2nd Yellow – Vashon Neufville (Atlético Ottawa)


Joseph Di Chiara (York9 FC )

The Canadian veteran provided a steely and physical presence in midfield, and then kept his cool by converting from the penalty spot to tie the game for Y9.

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