YORK REGION – One of the wildest games in CPL history went down on Saturday night at York Lions Stadium.
Nico Pasquotti looked to be the hero when he scored in the 82nd minute and appeared to give nine-man Cavalry FC an improbable win. But Wataru Murofushi scored with the last kick of the game deep into injury time to allow York9 FC earn a 1-1 draw.
Cavalry played the final 17 minutes of an ill-tempered affair – the game featured seven yellow cautions and one red card – with only nine men after Nathan Mavila and Jose Escalante were sent off.
Y9 came out strong from the opening kickoff, carrying the balance of play and carving out the best scoring chances in the opening half, while also limiting the visitors’ attack.
Ryan Telfer latched onto dangerous pass inside the penalty area and fired a low drive from in close that forced a sharp save from Cavalry goalkeeper Marco Carducci in the 29th minute. Carducci came up big moments later when he athletically tipped Murofushi’s shot from 20 yards out over the crossbar.
Tensions nearly boiled over early in the second half following a penalty pox collision off the ball between Telfer and Cavalry defender Joel Waterman as players from both sides had to be separated by the referee.
It was a sign of things to come, as Mavila was given a yellow card for a rash tackle from behind on Telfer in the 66th minute. In the aftermath, Escalante earned a red for swiping at Telfer as the ref again had to separate the players.
It didn’t end there – Mavila earned a second yellow card for a crude tackle attempt on Telfer, forcing Cavalry to play with only nine men for the final 17 minutes of regulation.
Pasquotti settled matters with a fine finish late in regulation time, scoring with a low shot that beat Y9 goalkeeper Nathan Ingham after the Nine Stripes couldn’t clear their lines. It was Pasquotti’s fifth goal of the campaign.
Murofushi tied things up late in injury time, beating Carducci with a scuffed shot from in close off a cross played into the box that eluded the Cavs’ defence.
Cavalry returns to action next Wednesday when they host Valour FC (9:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer), while York plays away to Forge FC next Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).
The Cavs’ winger showed great skill in peeling away from his defensive marker inside the penalty, and expertly created enough space for himself to fire a low shot from across the box that went in off the far post.
Ryan Telfer (York9 FC)
He didn’t score, but the Toronto FC loanee caused Cavalry’s back line problems with his pace on the counter, and his deft touch on the ball around the penalty area. Also had a hand in two Cavalry players being sent off.
Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC)
Cavalry was able to go into the halftime break tied at 0-0 thanks in large part to their goalkeeper who made some big stops. The Canadian national team hopeful gave his side a chance to regroup in the second half with his standup play.