Match Report: Valour FC 1 York United FC 0

Valour FC has found a timely spark that could potentially bring them life as the halfway mark of the Canadian Premier League season is about to appear on the horizon.
Critical now, then, is to bottle the performance in Thursday’s 1-nil win over York United FC and then bust out the same concoction in their next match and the 15 beyond in pursuit of the franchise’s first ever playoff spot.
Serving up a scrappy and inspired effort in a short week and in front of 2,750 fans at Princess Auto Stadium, Valour was able to survive its iffy moments and capitalize on its own positive actions to eke out the victory and stop a three-match losing skid.
The result improves the club to 3-1-8 on the season, with the 10 points earned inching them closer to the playoff pack. York, meanwhile, suffered its first loss under new boss Benjamin Mora and is now 5-2-5.
“We suffered, but it’s good to suffer sometimes,” said Valour GM and head coach Phillip Dos Santos. “You learn about your team. We have to also understand the circumstances – we played Sunday (in Hamilton) in a high-demand game where the team tried to come from behind. We travelled and there were a few guys who played there that we knew would struggle. There were some knocks.
“… The second half, we had to hold on a little bit more than we would have wanted to, but it’s a long season and these are three points that at the end of the day how we got them, and the circumstances don’t matter.
“It’s the game and we were able to  hold on and that’s most important.”

Valour forward Jordan Faria

Valour had struggled mightily in the first halves of its last two matches, falling behind 2-nil in each, and survived a shot off the crossbar in the third minute by York’s Markiian Voytsekhovskyy before a picturesque goal by the home side in the 29th minute that began with Jordan Faria feeding Themi Antonoglou, who then dropped a perfect pass to forward Diogo Dias Da Ressureicao who caught goalkeeper Thomas Vincensini flat-footed.
The evening featured 34 fouls – 18 by York, 16 by Valour – in one of the chippiest matches in the first half of the CPL season. Valour’s possession numbers, 38.2 percent, were skewed by York’s constant press in the second half, particularly in the final 30 minutes plus extra time, and goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi was steady as the club’s last line of defence.
It was Valour’s second clean sheet of the season, coming after the club had allowed seven against in the three-match losing streak.
“A much improved performance with and without the ball and I was really happy with the attitude we displayed for the entire 90 minutes,” said Valour’s steady centre back Tass Mourdoukoutas. “The game comes and goes in waves sometimes and you have to absorb pressure. We also had opportunities to kill the game off as well, which is a positive more so than a negative.
“Overall, a performance we can be proud of back at home in front of our fans. This is now the expectation and the minimum standard. The work rate the boys put in today is commendable and it’s something we have to maintain if we want to keep getting results like this.
“Definitely a better baseline (performance),” he added. “Look, cutting out mistakes, little moments that in previous games have cost us. A polished performance: something we can hang our hat on and say this is the benchmark.
“Now we go off this as a reference.”

Valour FC 1 York United FC 0
Valour FC
28:13’: Diogo Dias Da Ressureicao (assist: Themi Antonoglou)

Card summary
Valour FC
67:08’: Diogo Dias Da Ressureicao (yellow, dissent)
75:55’: Raphael Ohin (yellow, reckless offence)
80:41’: Roberto Alarcon (yellow, time wasting)
86:08’: Joe Hanson (yellow, time wasting)
York United FC
31:47’: Orlando Botello (yellow, reckless offence)
88:17’: Elijah Adekugbe (yellow, reckless offence)

GK – Jonathan Viscosi
D – Roberto Alarcon
D – Frankie Facchineri
D – Tass Mourdoukoutas
D – Themi Antonoglou
MF – Raphael Ohin ©
MF – Dante Campbell
FW – Diogo Dias Da Ressureicao
FW – Jordan Faria
FW – Abdul Binate
F – Jordi Swibel

Valour substitutions
63:56’’: On Noah Verhoeven; off Dante Campbell
64:07’: On Shaan Hundal; off Abdul Binate
81:28’: On Joe Hanson; off Jordi Swibel
81:40’: On Zach Sukunda; off Jordan Faria
87:03’: On Haris Chantzopoulos; off Raphael Ohin