Cavalry FC and Valour FC split points in a high octane 1-1 draw Saturday at IG Field in Winnipeg, Man. – an important match in the regular season that lived up to the billing.
Proceedings started as cagey as their last yellow card-filled meeting. The Cavs looked to hold possession and dominate play while Valour pressed and fought for the ball – an apt start considering both sides looked to bounce back from disappointing losses.
The first half’s only, rather tame, shot on target came from Valour’s Keven Aleman, though Cavalry enjoyed the bulk of possession and chances. Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s group held firm in a back-three while Rob Gale switched his team’s makeup, adding midfielder Raphael Ohin in a right-back Role.
MATCH COVERAGE: Match Analysis: Valour FC 1-1 Cavalry FC || Sights & Sounds: Valour FC 1-1 Cavalry FC
A goal came on the other side of halftime, though, in the 53rd minute. Cavs captain Nik Ledgerwood laced one of the most powerful shots you’ll ever see in the CPL on a freekick exactly 18 yards from goal. His teammate Joe Mason thought he had drawn a penalty when he was taken down inside the box, though the referee instead called for the free-kick that found mesh.
Valour changed shape, moving Ohin into midfield as his teammate Rafael Galhardo struck close on a long-distance shot. At the other end, Cavalry went to their bench to add Anthony Novak and Ahinga Selemani – the former also nearly scoring.
Valour’s Aleman found the equalizer after 70 minutes on his last kick of the game. The left-footer strode and pushed his way along the top of the box before hammering a deflected shot that looped into the goal. He was subbed out after, but the energy he instilled in this desperate Valour side remained. Moses Dyer nearly scored a go-ahead goal on a broken play right away, while Galhardo had a quality chance at the back post as Gale’s group surged forward.
Proceedings remained cagey through the final stages with cards handed out in rapid succession. It appeared Cavalry had created a one-on-one with the ‘keeper when Novak broke Valour’s final line but it was controversially called offside. A late push from the Cavs didn’t lead to a goal, though, as points were split between the sides.
54′ — Nik Ledgerwood (Cavalry FC)
71′ — Keven Aleman (Valour FC)
17′ — Yellow: Daryl Fordyce (Valour FC)
80′ — Yellow: Moses Dyer (Valour FC)
84′ — Yellow: Jose Galan (Valour FC)
88′ — Yellow: Mo Farsi (Cavalry FC)
89′ — Yellow: Rodrigo Reyes (Valour FC)