Edmonton and York Share A Point After Hard-Fought Draw
FC Edmonton and York United battled to a draw under the lights at IG Field tonight, with an absolute wondergoal from Fraser Aird being cancelled out by a sharp counter-attacking goal from Michael Petrasso.
A late penalty decision in favour of FC Edmonton seemed set to decide a winner two minutes from time, though substitute striker Easton Ongaro couldn’t seal the deal for the Eddies.
Eddies head coach Alan Koch made five changes from the team which beat reigning Champions Forge FC a few days ago, whilst York United also saw its fair share of rotation as it led the way in terms of domestic U-21 minutes:
The opening fifteen minutes saw the Eddies put on most of the pressure, with the Alberta-based side earning a few corner kicks and cause some difficulties for the York United back line.
The first significant opportunity for York United came not long after that, with Diyaeddine Abzi nearly bagging his third goal of the season with a strong effort fired right at Connor James.
Some sharp footwork by the Montrealer earned the side a freekick not long after, though the following set piece struck the wall this time around. Through the first half, most of York United’s countering movements would involve the 22-year-old.
The Eddies would see a few decent attacks of their own in the first half, with Thomas Gardner dancing around the box before running into a gathering of York United defenders and losing possession.
Hunter Gorskie would come close to scoring his first Eddies goal, with the newly-minted vice-captain firing off a shot that hit both the post and York United goalkeeper Nathan Ingham before being cleared.
Seconds later, York’s Ferrari found himself on a breakaway, with the 20-year-old rounding Connor James to put the ball in the net before the play was called back due to an offside decision by referee Fabrizio Stasolla
An absolute wondergoal from Fraser Aird then broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, with the former Valour man intercepting the ball, looking up, and firing an absolute rocket into the top left corner for his second-ever CPL goal:
The Nine Stripes capitalized on a defensive error from Fraser Aird to force an equalizer through Michael Petrasso, who became the second former Valour midfielder to score tonight:
The Nine Stripes continued to press well as the second half went on, with Abzi linking up with Petrasso to send the ball flying into the Eddies box. The ball would eventually fizzle through diagonally, going just wide of the far post.
Eddies right-back Jeannot Esua then fired in a long, arching cross thirteen minutes from time, with the header from Aird going just over the bar. On the opposite end of the pitch, a favourable bounce would see Isaiah Johnston in a prime shooting position, though he’d fire it high.
FC Edmonton saw a set piece from Kyle Porter result in a shot right in front of Nathan Ingham, though the Nine Stripes goalkeeper somehow got a glove to the close-range shot to limit the damage to a corner.
The late game drama was still to come, however, with substitute Ijah Halley clipping the heel of Hunter Gorskie in the box to lead to a penalty decision two minutes from time.
Up stepped Easton Ongaro with an opportunity to equal Tristan Borges as the league’s all-time top goalscorer, but the six-foot-six striker saw his penalty strike the post and go out.
Late pushes from both clubs couldn’t turn the tide in favour of either side, with the final whistle confirming that both teams would share a point apiece despite plenty of late game drama.
FC Edmonton will now have a week of rest before facing the Halifax Wanderers on Saturday, while York United will face table-topping Valour FC this Wednesday.