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VIDEO: Vancouver FC and York United play to a draw

Vancouver FC maintains spot in second place
A back-and-forth match saw Vancouver FC and York United play to 2-2 draw at at York Lions Stadium on Sunday, June 9.

A back-and-forth match ended in a 2-2 draw for Vancouver FC and York United on Sunday, June 9, at York Lions Stadium.

York opened the scoring after just 18 minutes through Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy, but it took Vancouver just three minutes to reply as Alejandro Díaz equalized.

York were given a moment of magic on a long-range strike from Juan Córdova just before half-time, but a Moses Dyer penalty in the 77th minute ensured the match ended level.

On Sunday, VFC collected their league-leading eighth point from losing positions this season, matching the amount they put up all of last year through just nine matches. 

“It says that we have a lot of fighting spirit, which I think is very important,” said Vancouver FC head coach Afshin Ghotbi. “We always speak about technically, tactically. But if you don’t have the spirit to fight from kick-off, I don’t think we can achieve anything special, so that’s something I think we have in the group.” 

Ghotbi says his team was frustrated at half-time with their performance, especially having again switched off on a pair of first-half goals from York United. However, an impassioned speech from veteran midfielder Renan Garcia, he believes, gave his side the motivation they needed to kick on and get the equalizing goal.

“I think that kind of resonated through the team and I think the players decided together that they were going to do everything they could to not lose this game,” said Ghotbi.

“I wish I could bottle the last 20 minutes and repeat that every game from kickoff until the end of the match,” said Ghotbi.

Also of critical nature was a triple substitution he made in the 73rd minute, bringing on Ben Fisk, Sebastian Dzikowski and Tommy Powell. The trio changed the game, with Fisk winning the equalizing penalty, while Dzikowski could have won the match himself with two shots, one of which he dragged just wide in the 88th minute.

“Last year, I didn’t have this luxury where I can go to my bench, and bring in players that can change the games,” said Ghotbi.

Next, Vancouver heads to Kelowna for the 2024 CPL on Tour match, where they will play Cavalry FC for the third time this season on Sunday, June 16.