York were looking to carry the momentum gained from last week’s win over Valour FC as they continued their push for a playoff spot.
Austin Ricci did well playing off the wing as he was able to use his strength to free up space and posed a threat to the Wanderers’ backline. Despite having some optimistic moments, York were unable to have a clear shot on target that tested or troubled HFX goalkeeper Yann Fillion.
There was an unfortunate moment in the 31st moment after Theo Collomb and Jonathan Grant accidentally collided heads while going for the ball. Both players were forced to sub off as a result and enter concussion protocol.
HFX got on the scoresheet prior to stoppage time with an absolute screamer from Zachary Fernandez, who’s shot from well outside the box bounced off the post and into the back of the net. The timing was unfortunate for York in that it was prior to the end of the first-half. The Wanderers went into halftime with the 1-0 lead, which forced York to have to play with more urgency in the second half.
Joao Morelli extended the lead in the 61st minute after taking advantage of some miscommunication from York’s backline and struck a nicely placed shot past Niko Giantsopoulos to give his team the 2-0 lead.
York narrowly avoided being down 3-0 following a counterattack that saw Morelli in a one-on-one situation with Max Ferrari. He spotted his teammates making a run and laid it off for Armaan Wilson, who struck the ball off the crossbar and out of play.
HFX coach Patrice Gheisar appeared to have adjusted his tactics to more of a defensive approach to close out the remaining 15-minutes as he subbed in defender Doneil Henry and Riley Ferrazzo for Massimo Ferrin and Aidan Daniels.
Michael Baldisimo was sent off for a second yellow card after a reckless tackle on Morelli, which caused an altercation between the two teams that saw benches clear, but cooler heads eventually prevailed.
York are back in action next Saturday, when they travel to TD Place Stadium to take on their provincial rivals Atletico Ottawa in a match that will be crucial for their place in the CPL standings.
Photo credit: York United FC (@yorkutdfc – Twitter)