‘Minimum reward’: Gale shows frustration after another non-call vs. HFX

Valour FC’s Rob Gale was short with reporters on Saturday at Wanderers Grounds.

You could hardly blame him – his team was held to a 0-0 draw with HFX Wanderers FC, in a match that ought to have featured at least one goal, as Valour had a clean shout for a penalty, not given.

“We deserved more,” Gale said – bluntly, short and sweet – to OneSoccer after his side’s stalemate against HFX Wanderers, leading reporter Allan April to harbour a few moments of silence before responding.

Controversy, of course, was at the heart of Valour’s chance of a late-summer victory.

The play in question saw Valour attacker Ali Musse go to ground while in on goal in the first half of their scoreless season-series finale; contact with defender, player goes down in the box.

A resulting penalty could have been the difference in the match, just as it has for Valour all season, leading the CPL with eight penalties conceded and five goals converted.

What did Gale see on that play, asked April?

“Something the linesman didn’t,” Gale said, again bluntly, to OneSoccer. “We’re third in the table. If calls go our way we’re six points better off.”

Later in the interview, Gale pointed to the goal behind him where, in August, Valour left Halifax rueing another non-call. Michael Petrasso was tugged by HFX’s Zela Langwa at the near post in injury time. No call was made, giving HFX the 1-0 win in a match that also saw Jordan Murrell, who played all 90 minutes Saturday, sent off in another instance of controversy.

Don’t forget that first half away to Pacific FC later in the month, too, which saw Gale leave VanIsle empty-handed with a potential penalty call on the mind.

HFX Wanderers FC defender Alex De Carolis tries to defend against Valour FC attacker Ali Musse. (Trevor MacMillan/CPL).
HFX Wanderers FC defender Alex De Carolis tries to defend against Valour FC attacker Ali Musse. (Trevor MacMillan/CPL).

Still, Saturday was the first time Valour managed a result away to HFX over four attempts, something Gale lightened on.

“Points dropped for us, but our first points here,” Gale measured his team’s performance to reporters. “Full credit to the boys, It’s not an easy place to play, teams struggle here. It’s not easy to get here and feel fresh … We haven’t quite solved that puzzle.

“Minimum reward, but they were excellent.”

A pair of late chances from Marco Bustos, including an eye-catching overhead kick that challenged HFX goalkeeper Christian Oxner, could have given the side a late win.

“I thought we were the better team for 80 minutes of the game … The longer it went on, I thought, we’d have to just be patient.”

“Our performance was excellent.”

The result put Valour in sole position of third in the CPL standings with 16 points, although with two more matches played than Pacific FC (15 points) and FC Edmonton (14 points).

Valour will return to play in 11 days time when they visit Spruce Meadows to take on Cavalry FC on Oct. 2 (9:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).