Y9 needs FC Edmonton to draw or win against Pacific FC on Sunday (3:00 pm ET/4:00 pm AT/OneSoccer, CHCH) in order to advance to the second round. A win by Pacific eliminates Y9, who could’ve clinched a second-round spot with a victory on Saturday.
With this in mind, it’s easy to understand coach Jimmy Brennan’s frustration, as the club doesn’t control its destiny.
“Hopefully the cards fall our way,” Brennan said after Saturday’s loss. “It’s frustrating, when you’re looking at it. We could have picked up a few more points and been in a better position, or even drawn tonight.”
The match came to a standstill in the 12th minute when Calvary’s Oliver Minatel crashed to the ground following a challenge for a 50/50 ball by York’s Roger Thompson.
After receiving treatment from team trainers for several minutes, Minatel was stretchered off the field and was taken to a local hospital where he was to undergo immediate surgery. Minatel was replaced by Marcus Haber, who scored the eventual game winner. Thompson did not receive a caution on the play.
“Roger’s gone in there to block a shot, it wasn’t malicious,” Brennan offered. “You never want to see that, of course.”
Neither side recorded a shot on target in the initial 45 minutes. Y9 goalkeeper Nathan Ingham came up big in the first clear-cut scoring chance for Cavalry, which was swiftly parried away from point-blank range.
But, a knuckling shot from Nathan Mavilia proved too much for Ingham to handle, with a rebound landing to Haber who slotted it home.
“I’m disappointed about how the goal came about,” Brennan admitted. “Obviously we’re disappointed. On the goal, with (Diyaeddine) Abzi we give up an easy throw in, that ball comes in in a hurry and that second phase, they get a knuckling shot that Nate struggles with because it’s moving so much.”
York9 eventually “settled into the game” after that, according to Brennan. Large swaths of possession in-and-around Cavalry’s opposing box brought Y9 some decent chances but a breakthrough never came.
Goalscoring, specifically from open play, has been York’s problem in Prince Edward Island. Six of the team’s eight goals have come from set pieces.
“We had chances to score and even when we were in and around the box we just kept playing that extra touch instead of taking that opportunity,” said Brennan, who fielded a front three of Abzi, Michael Petrasso, and Ryan Telfer. ” Michael had a great week of training and with Telfer we thought we’d have lots of pace to get behind their back three.
“We need to take those openings when they come. Don’t be hesitant in and around the box. We need more instinct rather than thinking about it.”
York9 ironman Luca Gasparotto was equally vexed about Saturday’s result, which also gifted Cavalry a berth in the second round. The 25-year-old has featured in every single minute in York9 club history, including the 630-minute, seven-match run on PEI.
“We need to score to win games and we don’t score goals – it’s frustrating,” Gasparotto said.
“It puts a lot of pressure on us defenders to see games out.”