Gryphon soccer men tie York with last-minute penalty-shot goal
GUELPH – A penalty-shot goal by Alex Zis left the host Guelph Gryphons in a 2-2 deadlock with the York Lions in OUA men’s soccer play Sunday at the Gryphon Soccer Complex.
“There’s no one better that we would want to take it right now than Zis,” Gryphon head coach Keith Mason said. “He’s Mr. Calm. He’s collected and he’s sitting there now and everybody else is all excited and he’s just it’s another game.”
The goal 25 seconds before injury time came on a penalty shot that was awarded after York goalkeeper Mike Argyrides collided with leaping Gryphon forward Peter Zehdee as Zehdee went up to try for a header near the Lions net.
The Lions argued while Zehdee received attention before Zis stepped up and booted the penalty shot home.
The emotional, physical match saw three of its goals come after the 80-minute mark.
Evan Dick had put the Gryphs in an early lead just shy of the game’s 19-minute mark when he netted the only goal of the first half. Zis collected his 13th assist of the season on that goal. That total is best in the country.
All in all the game was a typical Guelph-York match as the Gryphs and Lions are fierce rivals.
“It was physical but it’s two teams that are passionate and they knew what was on the line which was top spot (in the West Division), Mason said. “That brings that physical aspect, too.”
The physical aspect was seen when Guelph striker Dylan Rennie was hurt in an incident with York’s Merci Yuma well away from play in the final seconds of the opening half. Yuma was shown a yellow card for the incident.
“They were lucky to still have 11 guys on the field. They should have had 10,” Mason said. “I don’t like to criticize the referees, but you either don’t give anything because you missed it or it’s a straight red card. It’s one or the other. The fact that he got yellow tells me they saw something so it’s disappointing because it didn’t get the justice it was deemed because our player was out for the game and who knows how long he’s going to be out for. He’s concussed.”
And Yuma would play a role in the game’s outcome as he scored at 80:31 to knot the score for the Lions. Omar Marzouk put York ahead 4:37 later with a goal set up by Soji Olatoye.
While the game brought back memories of a pair of games against the Lions a couple of years ago that saw York rebound from a deficit with a pair of late goals to get wins in both games, the Gryphs weren’t concerned this time.
“We have good character in this team and good fight in this team,” Mason said. “As soon as we went down again, it would’ve been easy to roll over and say ‘This is it,’ but no. We went two strikers up front and we changed to give us just three defenders and we got almost instant success from it. Having that extra player caused a bit of confusion at the back and we won the penalty.”
The game was fairly evenly battled throughout with York taking seven shots to six for the Gryphs. The Lions had three shots miss the mark while the Gryphs had one not reach the net. Erik Hermanns made two saves in the Guelph net and Argyrides had three in the York net.
The Lions also took 10 corner kicks in the match, twice as many as the Gryphs.
York was also shown the yellow card four times while it was held up in front of a Guelph player twice.
It was the second time the teams had battled to a stalemate this year as they were in a scoreless tie in their season openers Aug. 31 at York.
Guelph leads the West Division at 5-1-3 but have played two more games than runner-up York (5-0-2).
The Gryphs have five games to go on their regular-season schedule starting with games at the GSC Friday at 8:15 p.m. against the fifth-place Western Mustangs (4-4-2) and Sunday at 3:15 p.m. against the third-place Windsor Lancers (4-2-4).
Gryphons 2 Lions 2
- Guelph Sports Journal