York United unable to finish unbeaten August with a needed win

Nine stripes let two points go against HFX Wanderers

Soccer players celebrate a goal
From left to right - Osvaldo Ramirez, Chrisnovic N'Sa, Michael Petrasso, Diyaeddine Abzi, Max Ferrari, and Alvaro Rivero celebrate York United's goal against HFX Wanderers  York United FC

York United FC took an early advantage on Wednesday night, but couldn’t keep it.

The resulting 1-1 draw with HFX Wanderers cost the home side a good opportunity to stay close to Forge FC in the fight for a spot in the play-offs of the Canadian Premier League (CPL).

Striker Osvaldo Ramirez opened the score for the home team at the York Lions Stadium only three minutes after the referee’s initial whistle, but Wanderers’ forward Samuel Salter made it one all with only 10 minutes remaining.

An upsetting result for the North York club, despite finishing August unbeaten, as coach Jim Brennan pointed out after the game.

“We had a great start, finding spaces, but we lost our way in the second half, we need to stay calm, keep possession, and try to find another way to break the other team,” said Brennan, in the post-match conference. “We end up undefeated, but we need to win games and be more clinical in the box.”

The Nine Stripes captain, Dominick Zator, also pointed out that the tight schedule they’ve faced recently could have been influential in the final result.

“Playing three games in a week is never easy, you get tired, and even though it’s the same for both teams, it’s another factor you have to play against with,” said the centre back. “In this game we lost possession, so we couldn’t rest with the ball, and we had to move at their pace, which was not ideal for us.”

Fans were just finding their seats when Chrisnovic N’Sa took the ball on the right side and crossed it over to Max Ferrari, whose shot hit the bar and left Ramirez in front of an empty net to score his second goal in 14 appearances.

However, instead of serving as fuel for the team’s performance, the early advantage seemed to have some negative consequences on the players, as immediately after the Halifax club gained momentum and kept knocking at York’s goal.

Keeper Niko Giantsopoulos really looked like a giant after every stretch he made in an attempt to keep his clean sheet.

There was no reaction from the home team after the break, on the contrary, it was HFX who had the clearest chances throughout the second 45 minutes.

Subs from both teams started to come in, and in that aspect, it was Halifax’s coach, Stephen Hart, who ended up having the best results. Just after the 70-minute mark, Samuel Salter replaced midfielder Alex Marshall to refresh the attack of the visiting team. And 10 minutes later he found the back of the net following an assist from Gagnon-Laparé.

It was only there that York United regained the energy they had shown in the first minutes of the match, winning most of the balls and getting the possession they had been previously lacking.

The reaction almost paid off when the 90 minutes were reached, as the Colombian midfielder Sebastian Gutierrez was not able to take advantage of an empty net just before the referee blow the final whistle.

Nine Stripes remain fifth in the CPL standings with 17 points.

They will now go on a series of away matches, starting this Saturday when they play Forge FC at Tim Hortons Field, in Hamilton.

NOTES: York United FC has now played four consecutive Canadian Premier League games without a loss, however, from these matches, two were ties; HFX Wanderers ended the game with 10 players due to Erick Santos being sent off in the final moments of the match, after a strong foul against Chrisnovic N’Sa.

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Posted: Aug 26 2021 7:24 am
Filed under: News Soccer Sports