Score: York United 1-0 Forge FC Goalscorers: Gutiérrez 79' Game of the 2022 season: 17 CPL match: 268
Match in a minute or lessA well-contested derby match between Forge and York United ended in thrilling fashion with Sebastián Gutiérrez scoring a brilliant late goal to hand the Nine Stripes a 1-0 win. After a week off, Forge FC came out with good intensity but was unable to better a young York side who seem to be growing in confidence with each passing game. The win moves York up into second in the league.
Stunning goal from Sebastian Gutiérrez was the differenceFor nearly 80 minutes, tonight's match was calling out for a moment of inspiration. That is when midfielder Sébastian Guttiérez had York Lions Stadium on its feet with a brilliant solo goal. Guttiérez received the ball from Noah Verhoeven outside the Forge box, and played a clever one-two with Osaze De Rosario. Now into the Forge box, he showed brilliant composure and technique to fake out both Dom Samuel and Triston Henry in the net before calmly slotting the ball home. "The Colombian-Spanish hips came out for sure," said York defender Jordan Wilson with a chuckle. "He faked him, and he faked me, I was at the half-line and I thought he was going to shoot and he rolled it in. I've seen him do that many times in training, it is just nice to see it come to fruition in a game." In a Canadian Premier League season that has already seen some specular goals, this was May's first legitimate entry into the goal of the season conversation. "Unbelievable goal, my heart went...I don't know where it went when he hit that dummy, I was like 'just put it in the net'", said York manager Martin Nash after the game. "But unbelievable dummy, great confidence and that's what we've seen from Seba, he's a clever little player, he's got good technique, he's a good finisher."
Rivalry match lives up to its name"The [York] fans, they've told me we don't care what really happens in the season, just make sure you beat Forge," said Wilson. That quote shows just how little love is lost any time Forge FC and York United take to the field, starting all the way back with the original Canadian Premier League contest in 2019. Today was yet another chapter in the well-documented rivalry. It started less than a minute into the match when Forge felt they should have been awarded a goal after Terran Campbell was judged offside. That moment ignited a chippy match with plenty of jawing from both benches, something that translated onto the playing field. "Yeah, that's how they are," said Forge goalkeeper Henry after the match. "They try to make it chippy with tackles and talking and stuff like that, that's just how they are." Henry spent several minutes down on the turf early in the second half after being bundled over by York striker Osaze De Rosario. It was one of a few times over the course of 90 minutes that the two sides came together to try to sort out their differences. De Rosario was one of a combined seven players between both sides who was shown a yellow card over the course of 90 minutes. The two sides also combined for 30 fouls during the match, with York committing 19 on their own as they tried, and succeeded, in slowing down the Forge attack. "You see that out there, a lot of guys who probably grew up playing against each other from the Toronto area and a lot of fantastic talent from this area playing on the same field," said Nash. "They are looking for a bit of bragging rights every time they play."
York deals well with direct Forge attackFrom the opening kick of the match, Forge made it clear that they weren't messing around in attack. Less than a minute in, Terran Campbell broke through the York line and found the back of the net. While he was ruled offside, this would be a sign of things to come from Forge. Whenever they won possession, they looked to play the ball vertically with Tristan Borges, Kyle Bekker, David Choinière and Campbell all making runs in behind at various moments. Whether those balls were in the air or on the ground it was clear that the directive was to test the York backline as much as possible. In fact, they had 154 passes into the final third over the course of 90 minutes. "We wanted to be a little bit quicker," said Bobby Smyrniotis after the match. "We knew for them, it is an exciting match, they are going to get on the ball a little bit, to begin with. There wasn't a problem with that because it creates a lot of spaces in behind [especially] that first 15 minutes." With Alex Achinioti-Jönsson and Alessandro Hojabrprour providing coverage, Bekker in particular was allowed free reign to push up the pitch and attack the York backline. But try as they might, Forge was unable to break down York, who put in a tremendous performance at the back. They limited Forge to just 0.35 expected goals over the course of 90 minutes. "I thought structurally we were quite sound. We didn't get exposed too often," said Nash. "We were getting exposed early I felt, down our right side a little bit, and it was just a quick adjustment we had to make. [Forge] really do a good job with interchanging, and if you get caught chasing someone instead of staying in your position they can expose you pretty quick." The performance was made all the more impressive by the fact that York was missing several key players, including veteran centre-back Roger Thompson. "A wounded dear leaps the highest, I'm going to say," said York defender Jordan Wilson. "We knew that Roger [Thompson] was out, he has been such a consistent leader in the back for us. He just had a little injury this week. So Dom [Zator] and I, we've been a partnership since last year, and we just had to grind and get it done. If you could see our lineup today we have a couple of injuries. We just knew it was going to be a dogfight." Zator and Wilson combined brilliantly to foil Forge. Both were excellent in possession, completing 89% and 83% passing respectively during the matches. Zator had six clearances, while Wilson stepped up with three interceptions. Diyaeddine Abzi also deserves mention for his defensive work rate on the night. After a questionable back pass last week almost cost York a point, Abzi hardly put a foot wrong in his own third. He won 8 and 13 duels, won four tackles and was fouled twice during the match.
CanPL.ca Player of the MatchSebastián Gutiérrez - York United The goal was one thing, but Gutiérrez was the most dangerous player on the pitch for either team tonight. He had three shots, and two chances created, one of which went narrowly wide of Henry's net earlier in the half. He was also solid defensively with eight duals won.
What’s next?Midweek cup soccer awaits both clubs next with the preliminary round of the Canadian Championship starting on Tuesday, May 10 with York United travelling to TD Place Stadium to take on Atlético Ottawa (7:00 p.m. ET). Forge meanwhile, hosts PLSQ champions Mont-Royal Outremont at Tim Horton's Field on Wednesday, May 11 (7:00 p.m. ET). Watch all matches live on OneSoccer. In addition to its website and app, OneSoccer is now available on TELUS channel 980 and on Fubo TV. Call your local cable provider to ask for OneSoccer today.