TORONTO, Ont.—It was a packed house at York Lions Stadium to end the season for both York9 FC and HFX Wanderers FC.
York had put together back-to-back 4-0 wins, riding high looking to end the season the same way, but HFX were not going to go quietly.
Early in the first half, York had the majority of possession and created plenty of opportunities from it, racking up nine shots. Unfortunately for York, weather it be set pieces, counter attacks, or well thought out positional play, they would not get past HFX goalkeeper Christian Oxner.
Whether it be leading goal scorer Rodrigo Gattas or Toronto FC loanee Ryan Telfer, it seemed like York’s ability to score at will from the past week had dried up.
Then after only four chances, HFX’s Juan Diego Gutierrez would fly in to open the scoring, off a Colm Vance save. Shortly after, the Y9 GK making his first start in the CPL would find himself under attack yet again.
Kodai Iida blasted a shot from outside the 18-yard box into the top corner, and all of a sudden York ended up trailing HFX 2-0 in the first half, at home at York Lions Stadium.
A screamer!— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) October 19, 2019
That's @kodai_iida10969's first of the season for @HfxWanderersFC, and what a way to do it! That doubles the Wanderers' lead!
YOR 0 - 2 HFX ⚓️#CanPLxOneSoccer | #YORvsHFX | #CanPL pic.twitter.com/JiDSbLspMZ
The final ended the same way, but supporters still showed their appreciation for the bigger picture. York9 FC created history, establishing a legitimate CanPL soccer club for those in Northern Toronto and York Region to grow and connect with.
Head Coach of the 9 stripes, Jim Brennan, was also still proud of what his team had accomplished despite the loss.
“I spoke to the guys at the beginning of the game, and I said ‘Im proud of what you’ve become as a team, as individuals, as young men,’” said Brennan after the match. “They’ve grown an awful lot since that first game of the season to where they are now.”
Following results elsewhere in #CanPL, we’ve clinched 3rd place in the overall table.— York9 FC (@York9FC) October 19, 2019
An amazing place to build from in 2020!
Thank you again to every single supporter who was a part of our season!
In Saturday’s match, Luca Gasparotto became the first-ever CanPL player to appear in every match. The York9 FC iron man knows his team were involved in some crucial games this season.
“Obviously the inaugural match, being apart of history, and then Canadian Championship against Montreal (Impact), we showed what we can do, and what our league was all about,” said Gasparotto, reflecting on the season.
Telfer, who netted eight goals for York9 over the season, was proud of his time with the club.
It was something special to be apart of,” said Telfer. “From my perspective, almost every single person who has played in this league has benefited tremendously.”
Now moving forward, Brennan hopes his squad will take the positives, as well as the valuable lessons that the inaugural Canadian Premier League season has taught them.
“It’s about being consistent,” wrapped up Brennan, looking ahead to 2020. “We need to be a little bit more consistent than what we were. Next season is going to be a new start, and all the mistakes that we made this year, will be rectified. I think you’re going to see a different team next year.”
The first-ever CanPL Finals between Cavalry FC and Forge FC will take place across two legs beginning on Oct. 26 in Hamilton, Ontario. Be sure to stay tuned, as Waking the Red will have all of your coverage for Saturday’s match.