York9 gives away valuable points to HFX in otherwise comfortable Island Games affair

York9 FC failed to collect all three points on Saturday, letting more valuable points slip through their fingers.

A first-half goal and a red card to HFX Wanderers FC put the Nine Stirpes on the path to victory, only for a 90th-minute equalizer from Omar Kreim to force Jimmy Brennan’s side to settle a fourth draw in five matches at The Island Games.

“One-nil, you’re comfortable,” Y9’s coach told reporters after the match. “But in the 90th minute you conceded a dumb foul, they know we have a young ‘keeper in goal, and that happens.”

York took the lead in the 21st minute with a brilliant free kick from Manny Aparicio, who slashed the ball past HFX ‘keeper Christian Oxner. Minutes later, referee David Barrie flagged Wanderers midfielder João Morelli for excessive force after he elbowed Y9 midfielder Joseph Di Chiara in the throat.

HFX had claims for Y9 to be sent off just moments later when Fugo Segawa appeared to have kicked Wanderers winger Alex Marshall in the face and drew blood.

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The extra man put York9 in control – 65 per cent of possession, 11 shots to HFX’s five, and nearly double the amount of passes (583 to 310). But, as Brennan stated rather simply, they couldn’t put the game away.

“They had to make a move – come at us or bunker in for a bit,” Brennan said.

“(Stephen) Hart had them organized in those two banks of four and, honestly, we were comfortable shifting it side to side and waiting to penetrate the odd pocket.

“They defended well but it was just us giving away a silly foul at the end that hurt is.”

Aparicio’s goal was a clear highlight of the match and of York9’s 2020 CPL season. While the captain impressed with the strike, their fourth-straight goal from a set piece, the team failed to generate much in open play.

“We haven’t created much from the run of play and that’s something we’re working on,” Aparicio said. “That goes from attack all the way back to the defence.

“It’s gonna come, we signed good forwards in the off-season. Those goals will come.”

Saturday’s draw put York9 just below 905 Derby rivals Forge FC in the standings, with seven points and a 1-4-0 record. Brennan’s side is the only club at The Island Games yet to lose.

Kreim’s injury-time equalizer was the 15th goal scored after the 85th minute in the 19 completed matches at the Island Games.

York9 is no stranger to this last-minute heartbreak, having a win against Pacific FC snatched away last week.

“In the last few minutes you just have to get the ball forward… no messing around with it,” Brennan stated. “That’s been a bit of a problem for us. We’re getting into the 90th minute and we’re conceding late.

“Fatigue is setting in but we need to be mentally stronger to finish these games off. It’s points we’re giving away.”

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