Cavalry FC broke their winless streak with gusto on Saturday evening, coming alive in a 2-0 triumph over HFX Wanderers to improve their record to 3-2-2 in the early stages of this CPL season.
To start, the Wanderers were buoyed by the return of Jake Ruby at fullback, slotting him into the starting 11 and maintaining 0their dangerous front three of Stefan Karajovanovic, Akeem Garcia, and Alex Marshall. Cavalry, on the other hand, mixed things up a bit more, opting for a 3-4-3 formation with a tremendous amount of attacking firepower as they sought to end a four-game goalless drought.
As a result, the Cavs came out of the gates quick, throwing men forward as much as possible, especially on several early set-pieces. HFX managed to hold them off in the early going, though, as both sides settled in a bit for a first half that ultimately became a little cagey.
However, Cavalry would still manage to end their dry spell before halftime. Daan Klomp intercepted a ball near the halfway line, and quick forward passes from him, Joe Di Chiara, and Ahinga Selemani in succession put Anthony Novak in on goal alone for a superb finish off the right post — bagging his first in a Cavs kit and ending the drought at 329 minutes.
Cavalry added their second not long after halftime, with Elliot Simmons’ perfect through ball finding Ahinga Selemani in space and ending up at the feet of Ali Musse, who curled a strike into the far corner of the net — with some help from a deflection off a defender.
The Wanderers had a good handful of opportunities to cut into the Cavalry lead; Samuel Salter, entering as a substitute at halftime, had two golden chances all alone in front of Tyson Farago, but he wasn’t able to put either of them past the goalkeeper.
In the final 20 minutes, Cavalry brought on Daniel Kaiser in place of centre-back Karifa Yao, reverting to a more conservative 4-4-2 and absorbing some pressure from HFX to see out the game. That said, they didn’t completely bunker down: coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. opted to bring in Brazilian attacker Richard Luca and highly-touted striker Joe Mason (making his CPL debut) with 10 minutes remaining.
With new life in the dying stages, it was Cavalry who were protagonists in the final moments of this game, continuing to press and ask questions of the Wanderers’ defence. HFX did manage to break the clean sheet, though; an excellent ball from Karajovanovic found Salter in the 87th minute for a good finish to make it 2-1.
45+2′ — Anthony Novak (Cavalry FC)
52′ — Ali Musse (Cavalry FC)
87′ — Samuel Salter (HFX Wanderers FC)
24′ — Yellow: Mateo Restrepo (HFX Wanderers FC)
55′ — Yellow: Ahinga Selemani (Cavalry FC)
57′ — Yellow: Morey Doner (HFX Wanderers FC)
60′ — Yellow: José Escalante (Cavalry FC)
83′ — Yellow: Victor Loturi (Cavalry FC)
84′ — Yellow: Omar Kreim (HFX Wanderers FC)
90+3′ — Yellow: Daan Klomp (Cavalry FC)