A rainy Tuesday night at York Lions Stadium saw Forge FC get their second victory in a row against York United, with a final score of 3-1, closing the regular season of the local team.
Tristan Borges, Daniël Krutzen, and Alexander Achinioti scored for the visiting side, while Lowell Wright did for the Nine Stripes, who still celebrated in the end as they had already secured their first-ever qualification to the CPL playoffs after HFX Wanderers failed to defeat Atlético Ottawa on Sunday.
Even though this was not the way York had planned their final home appearance to go, for coach Jimmy Brennan the game was an opportunity to rest some key players before the post season.
“We had the chance today to rest Max (Ferrari), Alvaro (Rivero), and a couple more, because we are in a situation where we need to manage our footballers,” said the gaffer in a post-match presser. “Those who played also knew that we couldn’t afford to do anything stupid that would get us in trouble prior to the playoffs.”
With so many regulars out of the squad for this game, players like Javier George, Matteo Campagna, and Ijah Halley found themselves in the starting XI.
Despite also having some experienced elements in the lineup, it was difficult for York United to settle on the pitch, with Forge taking advantage of that. It was clear that the club coached by Bobby Smyrniotis was looking to secure the first place of the league, which they ended up doing.
After more than 20 minutes of dominance from the visiting team, Tristan Borges turned a free kick into a beautiful goal, putting the ball on the top left corner. That gave the Hamilton team even more confidence to move forward, which eventually translated into them finding the back of the net a second time, thanks to captain Daniël Krutzen.
Following the break, Brennan brought Ramirez, Umar, and Isaiah Johnston from the bench, with the latter being key in allowing York to dream with a possible tie in the second half.
Only six minutes after the referee’s whistle, the midfielder picked the ball near his own box and ran with until he found enough space to put youngster Lowell Wright in front of goal. Only being down by one, United gained momentum and generated a good amount of chances, but goalie Triston Henry was always in a good position to block them.
Unfortunately for the Nine Stripes, Alexander Achinioti was able to slightly deviate a shot from Babouli in the 70th minute to find the back of the net and sentence the match in favour of Forge.
York United will now have 10 days to recover and plan their strategy before they face this very same rival in the semi final of the Canadian Premier League playoffs. That game will be hosted at Tim Hortons Field at 3:00 pm on November 21.
Notes: During halftime, the club revealed that midfielder Cedric Toussaint had signed a contract extension and following the final whistle the same was done for Isaiah Johnston … Details on these new agreements are still to be announced.