A late Oliver Minatel goal was all that separated Cavalry FC and HFX Wanderers FC in Halifax on Saturday, with the visitors taking a 1-0 win and claiming back-to-back victories to open their Fall campaign.
Both sides returned to league action after spirited Canadian Championship Qualifying Round 3 matches on Wednesday; a 3-2 HFX loss to the Ottawa Fury, and 0-0 Cavs draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps paving the road for this meeting.
Neither side mustered much by way of chances through the first half, though the Cavs did come close with a pair of open headers from Dominick Zator, who failed to find the net both times.
However, Cavalry – missing midfielder Elijah Adekugbe and striker Dominique Malonga – managed to put the home side under pressure to start the second half. Meanwhile, HFX had both South American attackers Luis Perea and Juan Diego Gutierrez in the lineup for the first time since May 4.
The match’s only goal came in the 85th minute when a cutting run from the CPL’s leading goal scorer Sergio Camargo found fellow substitute Oliver Minatel with a pin-point cross. Minatel smashed home his chance, giving the Cavs their second win at Wanderers Grounds in 2019. Cavalry is now the only CPL side to have defeated the Wanderers in Halifax this season.
HFX are set to travel to Hamilton to play Forge FC on Wednesday (7:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer). Meanwhile, Cavalry is off until Sunday, July 21, when they host York9 FC (3:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer) at Spruce Meadows.
85′ – Oliver Minatel (Cavalry FC)
59′ Yellow – Juan Diego Gutiérrez (HFX Wanderers FC)
88′ Yellow – Andre Bona (HFX Wanderers FC)
Three key performers
Sergio Camargo (Cavalry FC)
Cavalry FC’s midfield maestro was quite the super-sub, setting up the lone goal of the match and using his pace on the ball to give HFX’s defence trouble in the final 15 minutes.
Alex De Carolis (HFX Wanderers)
Stepping in for Zoom Langwa at left fullback, the Sarnia, Ont. native was effective against Cavalry’s dangerman Nico Pasquotti along the wing. Moving forward, De Carolis provided good support for Mohamed Kourouma, creating a rare bright spot in the final third for HFX.
Jay Wheeldon (Cavalry FC)
A leader at the back, Jay Wheeldon was crucial to keeping Cavalry’s clean sheet. Confident and quiet by way of action, the 31-year-old centre-back was a rock, steering the Wanderers to the wings and winning all three of his attempted duels.