Vancouver FC Claws First Win As York Slides Down Table
A pair of early defensive miscues were enough to sink York United FC, as Afshin Ghotbi’s weary side opened their Canadian Premier League account on the road at York Lions Stadium.
After Vancouver FC’s controversial mid week dismissal in the Canadian Championship, the post-game commentary for both coaches stressed the importance of mental strength and physical health. However, after 186 scoreless minutes, Vancouver FC’s first goal in club history was scored by Shaan Hundal, who alertly poached the ball from Babouli inside his own box and coolly slotted it past a sprawling Niko Giantsopoulos.
Ten minutes later, Vancouver’s press into York United’s box was rewarded with a penalty, as York’s Captain committed a foul trip while rushing to prevent Gabriel Bitar from scoring in a one-on-one situation. Vancouver’s seasoned winger Gael Sandoval calmly put away the penalty, leaving York with a huge challenge get back on level terms.
Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy and York United did their best to rally at the end of the first half, with a beautiful strike above the penalty spot flying by four Vancouver defenders who were unable to clear, cutting York’s deficit to one with the club’s first goal of the season.
Unfortunately for York United, a second half of focused effort in the rain came to nothing as Vancouver FC’s stalwart defending prevented their disadvantages in shots, possession and corners from turning into liabilities within the final third.
Asked after the game if counter-attacks and a defensive mindset were to become hallmarks of Coach Ghotbi’s side, Vancouver’s gaffer noted that while he preferred offense, his goal was to produce wins through the most efficient use of his resources available – a theme he also touched on Wednesday, as he spoke about the challenges of managing facilities, staffing and travel across our emerging League.
After a taxing and mixed first week, both clubs will have an opportunity to rest and reset before Vancouver FC meets Halifax in the Maritimes and York United trek up to Ottawa to open Week 3 in the Canadian Premier League’s young season.