HALIFAX – York9 FC head coach Jimmy Brennan is in familiar territory once again.
“It’s the same story; lots of possession, crosses and lots of shots, but we just weren’t clinical,” Brennan said following his side’s Fall season-opening 1-0 loss against HFX Wanderers in Halifax.
The Nine Stripes ended an over 300-minute scoring drought in the Spring season finale on Canada Day. Perhaps they felt those goal-scoring woes had left in June.
“Against Valour, we had our opportunities and we finished them,” Brennan said, referencing their 3-1 Canada Day result. “Those opportunities we have to take, They went the other way, little mistake, and they finish it.
“They are absolutely gutted next door because they thought they should have three points today.”
Saturday’s tilt at a sold-out Wanderers Grounds was another instance of Y9 producing everything but goals; impressive in passing, good opportunities to score – especially a late uncontested header by Luca Gasparotto
Rodrigo Gattas had three shots, one on target, adding to his league-leading 24th attempt on goal – with two converted penalties the Chilean striker’s only goals in CPL play.
“We just keep tampering with [our system], waiting for the strikers to get in form,” Brennan told reporters in Halifax.
“But at the end of the day, it’s a team effort. Everybody has to put a shift in … Can’t rely solely on our strikers to score goals.
“We did everything right and felt we should have come away with three points.”
HFX’s lone marker came from a mistake from centreback Roger Thompson, who coughed up possession after a miscommunication at the back with goalkeeper Nathan Ingham.
“It was an individual error that let us down tonight,” Brennan said. “Roger knows he has made a mistake. He held his hand up and I haven’t got a problem with it. We all make mistakes — it’s how you react to it.
“We’re going to make them in games. Roger makes a mistake tonight but he’s a big boy, he’ll get on with it.”
Brennan and co. will hope to “get on with it” before their Canadian Championship Qualifying Round 3 tie with MLS side Montreal Impact on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET/OneSoccer) at York Lions Stadium.
After that, Y9 will return to league play, hosting FC Edmonton on Sunday, July 14 (3:30 p.m. ET/OneSoccer).