HIGHLIGHTS: York9, HFX play out 1-1 draw after spirited start

Despite a spirited start, neither York9 FC nor HFX Wanderers FC were able to find an edge over their opponent on Wednesday as they played to a 1-1 draw at Wanderers Grounds.

The visiting Nine Stripes jumped out to a very early lead as Rodrigo Gattas smashed a penalty kick down the middle in the fifth minute. Referee Fabrizio Stasolla pointed to the spot after HFX’s Matthew Arnone blocked a shot with his hand.

The advantage didn’t last long, though. The Wanderers took over the game from the next kickoff, sending chance after chance toward the York9 net. They found a breakthrough in the 15th minute, as Peter Schaale jumped on a rebound in the box, set up by Luis Alberto Perea, to beat ‘keeper Nathan Ingham with a deflected shot.

From there, the intensity turned up a notch. The first half was a very physical affair, with five yellow cards doled out between the two sides and hard tackles aplenty all over the pitch. Damp weather conditions may have been a factor in that, with players sliding into challenges easily.

The second half was much quieter, as both teams played a little more carefully. York9’s Rodrigo Gattas put a golden opportunity over the bar in the 87th minute, and HFX’s Elton John came very close to beating Ingham deep into stoppage time, but it wasn’t to be for either team.

Up next, HFX Wanderers host Pacific FC on Saturday, June 1 (2:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer).  York9 have the weekend off before they continue their Canadian Championship campaign, hosting FC Edmonton on Wednesday, June 5 (7:00 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer).

Box Score

5′ – Rodrigo Gattas (Penalty, York9)
15′ – Peter Schaale (HFX Wanderers)

4′ Yellow Card – Matthew Arnone (HFX Wanderers)
21′ Yellow Card – Emilio Estevez (York9)
24′ Yellow Card – Ndzemdzela Langwa (HFX Wanderers)
26′ Yellow Card – Kyle Porter (York9)
39′ Yellow Card – Elliot Simmons (HFX Wanderers)
52′ Yellow Card – Daniel Gogarty (York9)

Key Performers

Peter Schaale (HFX Wanderers FC)

HFX’s captain was solid as usual, commanding a defensive effort that smothered York9’s attacking options. He led his team with 47 passes and eight clearances, covering a lot of ground, and his 15th-minute goal equalized at a key moment in the game.

Nathan Ingham (York9 FC)

This game could’ve been a very different story had it not been for York9’s keeper. He made four saves, including a massive diving stop on Elton John in the 92nd minute that almost ripped the draw right out of York’s hands. The busiest keeper in the CPL was a strong presence in the box on set pieces as well.

Luis Alberto Perea (HFX Wanderers FC)

The Wanderers’ star striker returned to the lineup on Wednesday, making a huge difference to his side’s attack. HFX were able to move the ball more effectively with Perea involved, and he played a key role in assisting Schaale’s goal.