Impact’s late penalty score averts upset in first leg of Canadian Championship

York9 FC came within minutes of beating MLS side in battle for semi-final

York9 FC players stunned as Joseph Di Chiara missed a late opportunity to give York9 the lead.  CPL

Montreal Impact forward Saphir Taïder’s 92nd minute equalizer from the penalty spot denied York9 FC an improbable victory at York Lions Stadium in Toronto.

After super substitute Rodrigo Gattas came on in the 73rd minute he first added an assist, then scored the go-ahead goal with three minutes remaining before stoppage time and it appeared York9 FC would pull of the unbelievable comeback.

Just before the fourth official would announce there would be three added minutes, York9 FC goalkeeper Nathan Ingham tripped up Impact forward Maxi Urruti barely inside the penalty area, where the call was made.

York9 head coach Jim Brennan was diplomatic about the call.

“From my angle it wasn’t a penalty, but it could’ve been — I’m not sure,” said Brennan, in his post-match press conference. “If Nathan could’ve done it again he would’ve stayed in his goal, he had a bit of energy there, probably a head rush.

“He went after it — couldn’t get a hand on it and gave up a penalty.”

Wednesday’s third round — first leg of the Canadian Championship marked the first time a team from the Canadian Premier League and Major League Soccer met.

The inaugural battle of the leagues did not disappoint and the scoreless first half gave way to an entertaining final 10 minutes that both the 4,996 in attendance and players won’t soon forget.

“These are special nights, something to play for midweek under the lights,” said Brennan, the first ever Toronto FC captain and Canadian International defender.

“The guys in the dressing want to play in these ones. When the guys look back on this game, they’ll be having a beer with their buddies saying ‘remember that game?’  ”

Despite the lack of familiarity between the two sides, Impact captain and Canadian International midfielder Samuel Piette leaned on his experience coming through the national ranks and assessed the opposition.

“I knew they had quality,” said Piette. “I’ve played with a lot of them through the Canadian youth system.”

Piette also refused to panic and looked forward to the July 24 second leg at home, for a spot in the semi-final as well as the chance to represent Canada in the CONCACAF Champions league.

“I do think it’s a good result,” said the 24-year-old. “We’re obviously disappointed in conceding two goals but with two away goals we’re looking forward to the second leg.”

York9 will undoubtedly analyze their performance Wednesday as well, but will continue to highlight the domestic competition, where they began the CPL fall season with a 1-0 loss to the HFX Wanderers of Halifax on July 6.

“We have to sit down as a staff and look at the match,” said Brennan.

“Our focus is now against [FC] Edmonton on Sunday. It’s a big game for us, we’ve got a few weeks till the second leg so we have to focus on league play.”

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Posted: Jul 11 2019 8:44 am
Filed under: Soccer Sports