Joey Cicchillo scored midway through the second half and Jonathan Lao added an insurance marker, leading the York Lions to a 2-0 victory over the UQAM Citadins in the second consolation semifinal at the 2017 U SPORTS Respect Group Men’s Soccer Championship on Friday.
The match started like the previous consolation semifinal (a 4-3 Carleton win over UNB) with both teams getting scoring chances early. The Citadins tested York keeper Mike Argyrides in the first few minutes before the play came down the other way and UQAM keeper Valetin Lamoulin was forced to punch away a Cicchillo offering five minutes in.
The teams were scoreless after the first half.
In the 54th minute, York’s Milan Beader was left alone on the right side of the UQAM net but he hit the side.
The Lions got on the board in the 74th minute as Cicchillo was able to drive to the goal, dipsy doodle around two sprawled defenders and the keeper and easily stuck it in the yawning cage.
“This goal was similar to the one I scored in the OUA finals,” Cicchillo laughed afterwards. “This one was a little tighter corners. It was a beautiful team goal. I couldn’t have done it without the other guys.”
In the 82nd minute, Cicchillo got another great chance and raced down the left side only to have his legs pulled out from under him by UQAM’s Hamza Methamen. On the ensuing penalty kick, Lao was able to sneak the ball low left side to give York an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
Cicchillo said it was imperative for his team to rebound emotionally after Thursday’s 1-0 quarter-final defeat at the hands of the host Thompson Rivers Wolfpack.
“For all the senior guys, coming out here could have been our last match. For the younger players it was a chance for them to prove themselves. What happened last night happened. The difference tonight was that in this one we would be able to play our game. We didn’t rush things.”
The consolation final on Saturday will be an ‘all-OUA affair with York meeting Carleton. Kick-off is 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.
Players of the Game
- York: Joey Cicchillo
- UMAQ: Chakib Hocine