The HFX Wanderers waited until the last possible opportunity to grab their first away win in 2019, taking a 2-0 victory at the hands of York9 FC at York Lions Stadium.
End-to-end action marked the beginning of play on the final matchday of the regular season. Two open chances from Rodrigo Gattas were of a particular quality, although neither side was able to convert despite the all-out attack seen from both sides.
A sneaky Akeem Garcia freekick was the closest HFX came … before the 26th-minute mark when the Trinidadian broke through off an errant back pass. Garcia’s ensuring shot fell to the back post where Juan Diego Gutiérrez headed home an opener over Diyaeddine Abzi.
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Kodai Iida followed up with a spectacular effort in the 32nd minute. Sliding through York9’s midfield line, the shifty attacker laced a left-footed effort off the opposite post for his first CPL goal.
As series of defensive heroics followed for the Wanderers in the second half; goal-line clearances from Chakib Hocine and Gutiérrez and a Hocine poke away from an in-on-goal Gattas – standout plays that completed HFX’s stoic defensive effort in their final match of 2019.
HFX ends the Fall season in seventh spot with 17 points (3-8-7). York9, meanwhile, closes out in third on 23 points (7-2-8).
27′ – Juan Diego Gutiérrez (HFX Wanderers FC)
33′ – Kodai Iida (HFX Wanderers FC)
35′ Yellow – Morey Doner (York9 FC)
64′ Yellow – Andre Bona (HFX Wanderers FC)
76′ Yellow – Wataru Murofushi (York9 FC)
Three Key Performers
Kodai Iida (York9 FC)
Waiting until the final day to score his first goal, the Japanese midfielder made it well worth the wait. Great ball control and vision to create the chance, Iida’s marker was a superb individual effort – and quite the insurance marker
Juan Diego Gutiérrez (HFX Wanderers FC)
The other HFX goalscorer, Guitierrez was much more than just his backpost headed effort in the first half. Goalline clearances, clever flick-ons in tight space and five key passes made the Peruvian a standout performer.
Joe Di Chiara (HFX Wanderers FC)
A solid day out despite the losing effort. Di Chiara’s 91% pass accuracy, 88% in the opposing half, five interceptions and four tackles were all team-highs. Some decent runs in the final third, too.