In a crushing 2-1 defeat decided late in the match, Atlético Ottawa fell to York United on June 9 at York Lions Stadium in Toronto.

The clash between the two Ontario teams saw no shortage of early chances, especially for Atlético. Not five minutes into the first half, Miguel Acosta’s low-drive pass inside the box found the foot of teammate Zach Verhoven.

Verhoven’s strike would make it past York’s keeper, Niko Giantsopoulos, but not past the post. Still, that wouldn’t be the end for Verhoven and his team’s early opportunities.

Just a few minutes later, Verhoven found himself with the ball down the right wing. A couple of dribbles into the box gave him just the right amount of time and space for another shot, which again beat York’s keeper — and this time sailed into the back of the net.

Atlético led 1-0 before 10 minutes had passed. But York sure Ottawa’s lead didn’t last long.

A cross into the box from York’s right back, Jonathan Nicholas Grant, missed the head of his teammate but instead found Atlético’s Luke Adam Singh. Falling into the back of Ottawa’s net, it was an unlucky own goal to tie the game.

Atlético wouldn’t stay put though. In the closing minutes of the first half, a misplaced goal kick from York’s Giantsopoulos gave Atlético possession deep in York’s side of the pitch. With Atlético midfielder Ollie Bassett on the ball, he had a chance. Blasting a strike from outside the box, he was denied by the same post that Verhoven had hit.

Atlético would get quite familiar in this match with the ringing sound of a missed opportunity.  In the 67th minute, Basset would find himself with another scoring chance, this time from inside the box. Once again, his shot hit the post.

Atlético’s failure to finish chances opened the way for York to finally secure a lead, and that’s what they did.

About 80 minutes into the game, York whipped in a cross from a corner kick. The ball went to Osaze De Rosario’s head, then into the net. His first goal of the season would also be the last goal of the match.

‘I feel today that York didn’t win the game, I feel like we lost it. Completely.’

— Carlos Gonzàlez, Atlético head coach

The win gave York United 16 points and briefly put the club on top of the Canadian Premier League standings. But heading into this weekend’s matches, York is in second place behind Pacific FC (18 points). Atlético stands a disappointing seventh out of eight teams with just eight points.

After the frustrating defeat to York, Atlético head coach Carlos González shared his thoughts about the match during a post-game press conference.

“We created clear situations to win the game and we didn’t concede much, but we lost the game,” he said. “I feel today that York didn’t win the game, I feel like we lost it. Completely.”

Atlético finished that match with 14 shots and 22 touches in the box. Still, despite some great efforts, the team needs to quantify their chances in more meaningful ways.

Atlético’s formation on the field points to why the club creates so many chances.

Atlético’s backline shifts from a 4-5-1 setup in defence to more of a 3-4-3 in attack mode, with Maxim Tissot getting high up the pitch and leaving three other defenders to cover behind him.

The formation leads to transitional opportunities in wider areas, and it showed against York. Atlético made its presence known down the right side of the pitch on Friday.

Jean-Aniel Assi frequently received the ball from his center-back and drove forward with possession, playing give-and-go passes with either Bassett or Malcolm Shaw.

Atlético returns home Saturday to face off against Vancouver FC, which sits at the bottom of the CPL standings with seven points. The game starts at 2 p.m. at TD Place.