It was far from aesthetically pleasing, but Cavalry FC got the job done on Saturday snatching all three points from HFX Wanderers at Spruce Meadows in a 2-0 victory.
A fluky goal and a no-doubt sending off secured the result, which put Cavalry back on top of the Fall standings with a one-point lead over Forge FC.
Cavalry found breakthroughs early in the first half on both wings – particularly through Nico Pasquotti – although they were unable to find their way inside a compact Wanderers defense. A point-blank save from Jan-Michael Williams after a deflection thwarted the only shot on target in a rough-and-tumble first half.
The Wanderers would come out the stronger team in the second half as a relatively comfortable group entering the final third, although they wouldn’t earn a shot on target for the entire match.
A goal would come, although it would be nothing special. A top-of-the-box shot from Elijah Adekugbe in the 71st minute took a hefty deflection and trickled past Williams.
Things went from bad to worse for Williams and Halifax ten minutes later when the ‘keeper was sent off after coming out to challenge Cavalry’s Aribim Pepple, who was in on goal.
With the Wanderers reduced to ten men, Cavalry took advantage. Joel Waterman put the match to bed just before full-time with a speculative one-hit chip volley across the face of goal.
Cavalry follow this match with another home date on Wednesday, as Forge FC comes to ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows for a Finals 2019 preview (9:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer). HFX Wanderers, meanwhile will play their final home contest of the year that same evening, as Pacific FC heads east for one last Coastal Clash (6:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer).
44′ Yellow – Tomasz Skublak (HFX Wanderers FC)
83′ Red – Jan-Michael Williams (HFX Wanderers FC)
84′ Yellow – Julian Büscher (Cavalry FC)
Three Key Performers
Joel Waterman (Cavalry FC)
What a goal and a great cap to Joel Waterman’s afternoon. Sturdy defensively as one of two centrebacks and fantastic in possession, leading his team with 79 passes and a 92% completion rate. Oh, we mentioned his chipped one-hot volley off the corner, right?
Elijah Adekugbe (Cavalry FC)
Goal aside – just like his teammate above – Adekugbe was good value, shielding the backline and keeping the Wanderers to just four touches in the box through 90+ minutes. Showed good range in passing, too.
Ndzemdzela Langwa (HFX Wanderers FC)
Pushing ahead as an aggressive fullback, Langwa caught Cavalry off guard in transition several times and used tricky footwork in the corners to help create.