Valor FC recorded their first home win of 2022 on Sunday, as a late goal from CF Montreal loanee Sean Rea was enough for them to dispatch York United and claim a 1-0 win to extend their CPL unbeaten streak to three matches.
With both teams once again focusing on the league after the midweek matches at the Canadian Championship, both managers opted for a degree of consistency. Valor boss Phil Dos Santos has made just two changes to his line-up, with Jonathan Sirois returning in goal and Andy Baquero stepping in at right-back in place of Brett Levis. York’s Martin Nash, meanwhile, also made two changes, as Eduardo Jesus came on the left wing and Isaiah Johnston returned to midfield.
The first half was understandably cautious, as the two teams tried to figure each other out. Neither club was able to produce many top-notch scoring opportunities, although hosts Valor controlled the lion’s share of possession and sent five shots towards York’s goal – but only two d them on target.
Nonetheless, neither team was able to breach the scoresheet in the first half as a formidable battle in midfield kept the game contentious.
York exploded out of the gates in the second half, developing a number of excellent chances in the first 15 minutes after the break. In the 55th minute they thought they had found the moment to move in front as a free-kick opportunity led to a chance in front and ultimately a handball from Valor’s Moses Dyer – prompting the referee to point to spot it immediately.
York’s Osaze De Rosario took the penalty and put it to his left, but Valor keeper Jonathan Sirois made an excellent diving save to save his team and keep the score 0-0.
Still, the opposing team continued to press even after failing to score the penalty. Valor were the first team to turn to the bench, as Dos Santos decided to introduce young midfielders Jacob Carlos and Matthew Catavolo just before the 70th minute, hoping to halt the momentum of York. Soon after, however, Nash matched the changes with some of his own, introducing Mamadou Kane and William Wallace to his offense in hopes of producing a game-winning goal.
However, it would be Valor who found the breakthrough. With minutes remaining in the 90s, Valor managed to win the ball back and slot it into the attacking third, and it was Sean Rea who danced into a tight space between the defenders near the top of the penalty area and finally lifted a nice shot from distance into the left side of the net to make it 1-0.
York thought they had equalized very soon after Rea’s goal when a ball fell on William Wallace in transition for a solid finish, but the game was eventually flagged for offside and the visitors were left empty-handed.
So the Winnipeg-based team held on for the win, as Valor recorded their first home win of the season and grabbed second place in the LPC table while York went home without a goal of his trip to Manitoba.
THE SCORE OF THE BOX
87′ — Sean Rea (Value FC)
40′ — Yellow: Moses Dyer (Valor FC)
40′ — Yellow: Isaiah Johnston (York United)
41′ — Yellow: Lowell Wright (York United)
42′ — Yellow: Cédric Toussaint (York United)
51′ — Yellow: Mateo Hernández (York United)
56′ — Yell0w: Alessandro Riggi (Valor FC)
67′ — Yellow: Diego Gutierrez (Valor FC)