July 14, 2024
  • July 14, 2024
York United Juan Cordova Goal

Babouli Shines As York United Staves Off Reignited Halifax

By on July 7, 2024 0 263 Views

When Mo Babouli chose to return to the Canadian Premier League in 2022 and signed with York United, York’s head coach Martin Nash noted, Mo is a very creative, talented and experienced player…

Enabled by Babouli’s aforementioned talent in the first half of this weekend’s game and his accuracy in the second half, Marki Voytsekhovskyy and Juan Cordova pounded – then cracked – the Wanderers stubborn resistance at York Lions Stadium to move up to second in the Canadian Premier League table.

For a Halifax squad that arrived in Toronto having finally secured their first home win of the season against Calvary, losing a match in which they held advantages in possession (83% within the first 30 minutes), shots, and corners can only come as a painful and expensive lesson at the midway point in their season.

York United opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Babouli floated in a cross toward Halifax’s unguarded far post, where Voytsekhovskyy headed it in, assisted in part by Halifax defender Daniel Nimick, who impeded his goalkeeper’s effort to claim the ball.

Rather than giving up, Halifax showed spirit, as Rampersad, Ferrin, Telfer, and Nimick continued to create opportunities only to see them either saved, misdirected, or blocked in the box on either side of half time. While Wanderer efforts went unrewarded, Babouli took advantage of a poor Halifax chip to cross a ball out wide to Voytsekhovskyy, who made use of the space he was given to drive into the box. While his shot was blocked, the ball fell kindly for Juan Cordova, who smashed home the winner in the 58th minute.

Halifax had hope of a shock recovery when York United’s Kadin Martin-Pereux valiant sprint to goal in an effort to stop a breakaway in the 87th minute fell just short. Telfer capitalized on York Frank Sturing’s misstep to ultimately enable Probo’s tap-in.

However, nearly eight minutes of second half stoppage time was not enough to salvage a draw for the Wanderers, to the delight of the home crowd.

Halifax Wanderers Denton Froese
Photo Credit: Darnel Harris

Reached after the game, greatcoat-wearing HFX Superfan Denton Froese (producer of the fanzine HFX Cookbook), whose trip up to North York completed his quest to visit every CPL stadium, had this to say about the experience:

“Results notwithstanding, we had a great time. Taking the subway with my fellow Privateers made it feel like a party long before we got to the stadium, and all the fans we met were friendly – especially our Vaughanderers family,” says Denton. “I’m sure that won’t be last my trip to York United – I still want to see what it feels like when we win there!”

With ten points from twelve games, but yet just nine back of third place in the CanPL, Gheisar’s Wanderers head home to face Valour in vital bottom of the table clash knowing their season is not yet lost. Meanwhile, York United will head to Calgary looking to solidify their place in the Canadian Premier League table in pursuit of Ottawa—and an unprecedented Canadian Premier League Shield.

Header Image Photo Credit: Denys Rudenko

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