HIGHLIGHTS: HFX Wanderers vs Cavalry FC (September 5, 2022)
HFX Wanderers and Cavalry FC played out a nil-nil draw at Wanderers Grounds on Monday afternoon, as goalkeepers Marco Carducci and Kieran Baskett stood tall in their respective nets.
Marco Carducci was forced to make a huge save early, on Wanderers right back Zachary Fernandez. After a long pass over the top was met by Fernandez, he took a few steps toward the goal and tried to fire the ball past the Cavalry goalkeeper. Carducci came charging out of his goal and spread his arms and legs wide, and was able to block Fernandez’s shot away from danger.
It was the home side that had most of the ball in the early stages of the match, with forwards Sam Salter and Fumpa Mwandwe the focal points as expected. There was a couple of moments where one would try something, and the other would be on the same page, but the execution just wasn’t there. That was best demonstrated by a pass from Salter to launch Mwandwe forward, and the Englishman would have been in behind tha backline had the pass come off as intended, but it was overhit and would go out for a throw in.
Salter sent a header toward goal midway through the first half, but his effort to the far left post sailed a couple of yards wide.
Cavalry’s best chance of the half came from a trio of shots just after the half-hour mark. Jose Escalante had a free kick stopped by Kieran Baskett before Joe Mason pounced on the ball and fired a pair of shots in quick succession as one. The first one was saved by Baskett, before the second was blocked. The first half ended scoreless.
The first shot on target of the second half came in the 66th minute, off the foot of Escalante. His effort from distance was saved fairly easily by Kieran Baskett, but it sparked some life from both teams.
A few moments later at the other end of the pitch, Sam Salter got his head onto a cross into the penalty area, redirecting it on goal but Carducci again made a big stop. Then, not to be outdone, Baskett made another stop a couple of minutes after that to deny a hard shot from Ben Fisk — who had only recently come off the bench.
The visitors claimed a penalty in the 83rd minute, as Joe Di Chiara went falling to the deck, but referee Filip Dujic instead booked the Cavalry midfielder for diving. For a split second, Mo Omar’s heart must have stopped, but the referee correctly saw nothing wrong from the Wanderers defender.
Baskett also made a big stop on fellow Cavalry substitute Ali Musse with the clock ticking closer and closer to the 90th minute. A goal would never come for either side, and the match ended in a scoreless draw, thanks in large part to the performances of the two goalkeepers Carducci and Baskett.
It was a missed opportunity for Cavalry FC to climb to the top of the table with a victory, and both sides will be simultaneously happy and frustrated with the result.
33′ — Yellow: Mikaël Cantave (Cavalry)
51′ — Yellow: Gabriel Escobar (HFX Wanderers)
74′ — Yellow: Pierre Lamothe (HFX Wanderers)
76′ — Yellow: Charlie Trafford (Cavalry FC)
83′ — Yellow: Joseph Di Chiara (Cavalry FC)