Final score: Edmonton FC 3-0 York United
Scorers: Bissainthe 24′, Camara 57′, Bitar 59′
Game of the season 2022: 50
CPL Match: 300
Match in a minute or less
In the 300th game of the Canadian Premier League, Edmonton FC celebrated their first ever win against York United with a comfortable 3-0 victory. The home side scored early from a Bicou Bissanthe header and then added goals from Mamadi Camara and Gabriel Bitar in the second half.
The win set a club record held by Edmonton FC for the widest margin of their CPL era, with their only other win by three goals or more coming against Valor last September. It is York’s eighth consecutive defeat and seventh of the series without a goal.
Edmonton FC celebrate Canada Day in style with a crucial win over York United
The Eddies love to celebrate Canada Day. Today was the third time they played at the nation’s birthday and they won all three times. In fact, they didn’t even concede a goal on July 1st.
This year, the Holidays produced their best performance of the season as they thoroughly outplayed York United in that game from start to finish.
“Very, very happy for the group on this special day,” Edmonton FC head coach Alan Koch said after the game. “It’s Canada Day, I immigrated to this country like a lot of other people so it’s a very special day and to celebrate with three points, also in the 300th game for a new league is very special for all of us as a group. “
They did so through a complete performance, limiting York to just a single shot on target over the course of 90 minutes while generating six shots and an impressive four wide chances of their own.
“I think the guys went out there and did exactly what we asked them to do,” Koch said. “We ask our players to be selfless, the way we play you have to be willing to do exactly what the team asks you to do and players have done that then they will be rewarded for it. Then they get the ball and I think we’re starting to show that we have some good players who can take care of the ball and break up teams.”
After going winless in their first 11 games of the season, attitudes have changed quickly in Edmonton as they have now won two of their last three games. They are the dividends of a group that continues to work hard and trust in the foundations they are building.
“We went through some very tough moments,” said Masta Kacher after the game, who was celebrating his 150th professional game, “but I think the staff work just as hard as the players, so I think we deserved this win. We worked very hard, the group is progressing very, very well, so we deserved it today.”
Edmonton is showing significant growth in multiple areas in its first multiple-goal win of 2022
Today marked the sixth time this season that Edmonton FC have opened the scoring in a game. It was only one more time they could hold that lead, and today was the first time they not only did it, but built on it.
Edmonton had a chance to extend their lead just after Bicou Bissanthe’s first goal, having awarded a penalty when Osaze De Rosario was treated in the box. However, Wes Timoteo’s shot from the point was saved and suddenly it looked like York had an avenue back into the match.
However, instead of panicking like in the past, Edmonton entered the dressing room at halftime and made it clear that they would not let that moment dictate the game.
“We had a very, very positive moment at half-time,” said Koch. “Wes walked in and apologized to the group and the group immediately said, every player up to a T, ‘Hey don’t worry, let’s get on with it, we have business to attend to in the second half’. So it shows the camaraderie within the group.”
Edmonton came into the second half and had two more goals within 15 minutes. They didn’t stop pressing after that either, consistently pushing against a demoralized York side who were forced to open up to chase any consolation out of the game.
“It shows that we are growing and are also learning from our previous games,” said Kacher. “It’s getting better, it just shows that we really care and are working hard to finish games. We were up at half-time in many, many games but today was a complete performance from everyone from start to finish so we are very happy.”
This is the eighth game in a row that Edmonton FC have also scored, another sign the group is improving.
“They showed a great development,” said Koch about his team. “We showed that we are organized defensively but I think we showed today that we actually own the ball and can create some chances. I think we could have scored a few more goals.”
He’s definitely right about that, as Edmonton managed 19 shots during the game, six of which were on target. They also had 31 touches in the York box. The table below shows all of Edmonton’s offensive actions in the game, including crosses (red and green squares), key passes (yellow squares), and shots (green and red circles).
York need to call in emergency goalkeepers as Gianluca Catalano saves penalty on debut
For a club that has been plagued by injuries and absentees like no other in the Canadian Premier League this year, the fact that York United had to make just one change to their starting XI from last week’s game against Valor was positive.
This change was a big one, however, as starting goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos missed the game through injury. The 28-year-old had a long limp in last weekend’s game against Valor after colliding with William Akio. There was some evidence that Giantsopoulos would have been ruled out had not the club’s only other option against Valor been a 15-year-old called up That Morning.
With backup keeper Matthew Nogueira also unavailable, York had to sign two first-choice keepers, 22-year-old Gianluca Catalano and 20-year-old Eleias Himaras.
Catalano was named a starter and made an unexpected CPL debut. To be fair to him, he wasn’t exactly overwhelmed at that level, having played five games for Toronto FC II in the USL Championship in 2o18. He also trained with York United this season while playing for Vaughan Azzurri in League1 Ontario.
The 22-year-old performed reasonably well considering Wednesday was the first he learned he would be making his CPL debut. He made three saves, including a brilliant one from Timoteo’s first-half penalty.
“I thought we didn’t protect him, we didn’t help him, hung him up to try a bit,” York United head coach Martin Nash said after the game. He did everything for us, he saved a penalty and he did it very well because he came in and did everything we asked, worked hard, made the saves he was supposed to make and one saved a penalty. He did really well and didn’t deserve it [allow] three.”
While York struggled to get on the same side in all areas of the field, at moments it was clear the back line wasn’t quite used to playing with Catalano. The clearest example of this was Edmonton FC’s third goal, when Jordan Wilson turned into the box and passed the ball to Catalano, who is not in such a position to receive the ball. Wilson should have just cleared the ball here, but confusion reigned on the night as York conceded three goals in their second game in a row.
— Canadian Premier League (@CPLsoccer) July 1, 2022
CanPL.ca Player of the Match
Wes Timoteo, Edmonton FC
He may have missed a penalty in the first half but was consistently the architect of attack for Edmonton. In fact, it was his superb performance in a corner that caused the chaos Edmonton won that penalty in the first place. He collected an assist on the first goal, another corner that found Bissainthe’s head and took the ball off Jordan Wilson before also setting up Gabriel Bitar for the club’s third goal. He also created five chances and gained three possessions in the last third (an impressive 11 in total).
Edmonton host Pacific at Clarke Stadium on Saturday, July 9 (2:00 PM MT/4:00 PM ET) in a bid to beat the 0-0 draw they played last time Pacific went into the city came. York are finally back at home against Forge next Friday, July 8 (7:30pm ET), starting a stretch of three home games in the next four. It promises to be tough work as the next four games will be played against the current top four teams in the league.
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