York United and HFX Wanderers FC took goals from strikers Osvaldo Ramirez and Sam Salter, respectively, in a thrilling goal scoring chance-filled Canadian Premier League tilt at York Lions Stadium Wednesday night.
Ramirez opened the scoring just after two minutes when York sliced through an exposed Wanderers team with a pair of slick passes. Max Ferrari developed the first chance on a lovely cut-in but his shot smacked the crossbar. Ramirez tapped in the rebound for his second in as many games and gave The Nine Stripes an early lead.
Halifax enjoyed a quality spell of possession in the middle of the first half, though York often stymied them and looked to pounce on the counter. Jamaican Alex Marshall nearly scored the goal of the season by taking a high ball down and beating three Nine Stripes defenders but he sailed the ball over the net – while providing some of Halifax’s only first-half touches in the box in the process.
York nearly scored a second goal off a corner if not for a goal-line clearance from Eriks Santos, who flipped Dominick Zator’s headed effort behind near the end of the first half.
The teams traded chances in the second half with Marshall and Alvaro Rivero generating chances in back-to-back, end-to-end fashion. That all-out attacking football continued, including a controversial scene after the 68th minute when Marshall was hauled down while in on goal. The referee gave a yellow card to Jordan Wilson, and the ensuing free kick was blocked.
Halifax went on to generate more and more chances, just as they did against Forge FC at the weekend. Finally, it was Salter who was the one to convert in a no-doubt chance, drifting behind Zator and smashing home a cross that drifted into the six-yard box in the 79th minute.
Halifax enjoyed late pressure and looked poised to score but were ultimately unable to – a straight red card delivered to Eriks Santos on a late challenge to Chrisnovic N’sa sealed their chances of finding a win.
A final clear-cut chance was handed on a plate to CanPL debutant Sebastián Gutiérrez who whiffed on an open net late in injury time to ensure his team’s fifth result in a row in all competitions and a second 1-1 drawn for HFX on their Ontario road trip.
2′ — Osvaldo Ramirez (York United)
79′ — Sam Salter (HFX Wanderers FC)
67′ — Yellow: Jordan Wilson (York United)
82′ — Yellow: Marcello Polisi (HFX Wanderers FC)
85′ — Yellow: Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé (HFX Wanderers FC)
90+2′ — Red: Eriks Santos (HFX Wanderers FC)
90+5′ — Yellow: Max Ferrari (York United)