TORONTO, Ont. — Going into Saturday’s final installment of the 905 Derby, York9 FC had only collected one point against Forge FC. The one-sided rivalry has seen Forge grab all three points in each of the previous three meetings.
In the final fixture between the two in the 2019 CPL season, York dominated Forge in front of Y9’s home fans at Lions Stadium (4-0). York Head Coach Jim Brennan was proud of his side after the win.
“That’s who we are today, we played as one,” said the former Toronto FC captain.
York9 controlled the game with 55.3% possession throughout the one-sided contest, as Captain Manny Aparicio took advantage creating a game-high four chances for his team.
“It’s one of those games where you just enjoy it from the first moment,” said Aparicio after the match. “We deserved these three points against this team.”
Joseph Di Chiara got his first goal of the season for York9, converting a penalty he drew in the 22nd minute. In the second half, Forge began to turn the ball over more, losing it on 41% of their passes, and York punished them for it. Simon Karlson Adjei chipped the keeper elegantly to make it 2-0.
Diyaeddine Abzi, who was tied for the most shots on target (three), got his first goal in the 67th minute to increase the lead to three. Finally, the leading goal scorer for York Rodrigo Gattas increased his tally to nine, with a beautiful volleyed shot, in the 90th minute, leaving no doubt who owned the match.
Di Chiara didn’t mind the feisty nature of the rivalry: “I don’t mind it being a little feisty, when you win it makes it even better. I like that, I don’t shy away from that,” he said with a grin on his face.
The derby was the inaugural match for the CPL back on April 25th. The meetings between the two show the progression of York this season, in the minds of the team. Coach Brennan said “I think the squad has come on leaps and bounds. We’ve worked so hard on our philosophy, the style of play, and the guys realized who they are as a team. We have an identity”.
“Looking at the stats, we beat them in every stat. To beat them resounding like that it’s huge, we can carry this into the next season” said Aparicio.
It is worth noting that many Forge starters were missing, including Tristan Borges, Anthony Novak, and goalkeeper Triston Henry.
Forge Coach Bobby Smyrniotis was “trying to rotate the squad” after Wednesday’s 2-1 loss out West to Cavalry FC in a CPL Finals preview.
“We lost a little bit of our energy,” said Smyrniotis after the match, referring to Wednesday’s midweek match out West. “I think we lost our bite; it’s the one game this year that uncharacteristically gets away from us.”
However, Smyrniotis emphasizes that his attention is focused on the CPL Final.
“We gotta keep our eyes focused on (October) 26th, and (November) 2nd, that’s always in the back of our heads. But we wanna come out and play every game to win three points”
Forge will have another quick turnaround when they take on Cavalry once again at home on October 16th for the final regular season game. This gives them a 10 day break before the first leg of the Final.