The Nine Stripes were rescued by a second-half infusion of youth on Saturday to grab a 2-2 draw against expansion side Atlético Ottawa in their 2020 Canadian Premier League debut.
Chief among that crop of teenage substitutions was Lowell Wright. The 16-year-old became the youngest goalscorer in CPL history in the 60th minute. A penalty soon after, converted by Joseph Di Chiara, and a controversial red card handed Jimmy Brennan’s team a valuable point at The Island Games.
But, halfway through the second half, it appeared nothing good – at least from a historical sense – would come from Y9’s debut on Prince Edward Island. Ottawa was rampant against a shorthanded York9 side, who were without Manny Aparicio, Chris Mannella, and Michael Petrasso due to injury.
“I was disappointed at half – we had a good conversation, but we still came out flat-footed,” Brennan said in reference to the goal conceded just after the halftime break. “They scored in transition. That should never happen to us. We need to see out these games.
“It was mental lapses especially when you get into injury time, you know halftime is coming. Just silly mistakes.
“Brought the young boys out to give us some life, and it worked.”