The first 905 Derby of the 2022 Canadian Premier League season finished 1-0 to York United FC as they defeated Forge FC at York Lions Stadium on Friday evening.
Sebastian Gutierrez netted the only goal of the game, winning the match for the Nine Stripes to cap off a dominant second half display from the hosts.
The winner came from an exquisite passage of play between Gutierrez and Osaze De Rosario in the 79th minute.
Though De Rosario couldn’t tie Tristan Borges’ CPL record by scoring a fourth goal in as many games, he was influential up top for the home side. The Canadian got the assist for the winning goal and wreaked havoc against the Forge backline all evening.
Diyaeddine Abzi was another standout for York United (2-1-2) on the night. The left back got forward early and often, providing dangerous balls into the area for De Rosario and others to try and latch onto.
The game could have gone so differently for Forge as they were inches away from finding a goal in the opening minutes. Terran Campbell was in behind and put the ball in the back of the net, but the play was quickly called back for offside.
Forge captain Kyle Bekker was prominent for his team, controlling the play from the middle of the park like he so often does.
The Oakville native would create the best chance of the first half in the 40th minute for Forge FC (1-2-1). Bekker crossed a pinpoint ball to Campbell, who had another chance to put the ball in the net, but instead he headed it straight to Niko Giantsopoulos in the York United goal.
After a cagey first 45, York United would pick it up in the second half.
Following the introduction of Austin Ricci in the 52nd minute, the hosts were dangerous on the counter, creating a number of scoring chances before the eventual winner from Gutierrez.
Moreover, Ricci appeared to be the spark that York United needed. The attacking midfielder was direct on the ball, but also looked to get his teammates as involved as possible.
Ricci had a great opportunity to score his first ever goal for York United in the 78th minute after receiving a neat ball from Gutierrez. Yet, his shot was smothered by Triston Henry, who did well to come out and pressure the ball.
Just moments later, Gutierrez would not make the same mistake as his teammate.
The Colombian crafted a give-and-go with De Rosario at the top of the 18-yard box, before slipping between defenders and putting both Dominic Samuel and Henry on the floor. From there, it was an easy finish and York United had their winning goal.
Forge would not find a late response, as the home side did well to keep things tidy in the dying moments of the game.
York United head coach Martin Nash knew the derby would be a battle and was proud of his team’s performance following the match.
“It’s great the effort the guys put in,” said Nash in a press conference. “I can’t ask for any more from the players.”
Both Forge and York United have midweek Canadian Championship obligations in their next respective matches.
York United FC go up against Atletico Ottawa in the nation’s capital on Tuesday, while Forge FC will host CS Mont-Royal Outremont in Hamilton on Wednesday.