Cavalry FC advanced to the second round of the Canadian Premier League Island Games with 1-0 victory over York9 FC Saturday. Cavalry FC joins Forge FC in the Island Games final-four. York9 FC will wait to see results Sunday to learn its fate.
“These are the games you want to be involved in,” said Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. following the match. “We’ve shown different ways to win in this tournament. I think we outworked York9. We played against probably the best midfield three and suffocated them.
“I wasn’t getting nervous per se, I was getting excited. I think it’s now going to be a tournament of resilience.”
But York9 FC coach Jim Brennan admitted he and his club were very disappointed and having to wait for Sunday’s results.
“It was competitive,” said Brennan after the match. “They make it very difficult for you. We had chances to pull the trigger, but we took that extra touch. Obviously, we’re disappointed.”
Minatel suffers horrific injury
Calgary’s club began the stronger, pressing York9 FC at every opportunity.
But play was brought to a halted early in the first half when Cavalry FC attacking midfielder Oliver Minatel suffered a serious ankle injury under a hard tackle by Roger Thompson. Replays showed how horrific the injury was and Minatel was taken off on a stretcher by emergency medical services and transported to hospital. A foul was not given for the challenge.
The Cavs carried on where they left off once play resumed, pushing forward and keeping the majority of possession. But Calgary’s club was unable to carve out any meaningful opportunities for the reminder of the half.
And a Ryan Telfer headed chance for York that went wide late in the half was a reminder York9 FC was capable of grabbing a goal on the break.
Match gets stretched in second half
York9 FC began the second half strong, creating a couple chances and forcing Cavs goalkeeper Marco Carducci into a couple saves in the first ten minutes.
But York goalkeeper Nathan Ingham did well to deny Marcus Haber a goal in the 60th minute, diverting a goal-bound header over the goal on a corner kick.
York’s Manny Aparicio pulled another save out of Carducci in the 65th minute with a near-post effort as the match became stretched with Cavalry knowing they may have needed a victory to progress to the next round.
Haber finds breakthrough
The breakthrough came when Marcus Haber pounced on a rebound to score in the 68th minute. Nathan Mavila’s initial long range shot was parried by Ingham right to the feet of Marcus Haber who made no mistake from 6 yards out.
And once Cavalry FC took the lead York9 FC was unable to pose any significant threat, with the Cavs midfield and defence stifling any York progress.
“We knew if we win we’re in (the second round),” said Cavalry FC captain Nik Ledgerwood after the match. “The further the game went on, the more we felt we were going to get rewarded.”
Cavalry FC will next play Wednesday in one of the two second round matches.