Final Score: HFX Wanderers 2-2 Cavalry FC Goalscorers: Garcia 37' Salter 60'; Bevan 20' , Klomp 90+4' Game of the 2022 season: 23 CPL match: 274​

Match in a minute or less

An injury-time goal from Daan Klomp ruined what would have been another tremendous result for HFX Wanderers at home, forcing the hosts to split points in a 2-2 draw. It would have been just the second time in club history that Halifax have defeated Cavalry. All four of the game's goals came from set-pieces, with Akeem Garcia and Myer Bevan capitalizing on corner kicks in the first half, while Samuel Salter did the same in the second. Klomp's goal came courtesy of an excellent late free-kick from Ali Musse.

Three Observations

Set-piece joy for both sides​

In a match between two of the best defensive sides in the league so far this year, it would certainly take all facets of attack to score goals. With that in mind, it is perhaps no surprise that all four goals in the match came from set-pieces. On any corner kick opportunities, Cavalry made it their mission to crowd the space around HFX keeper Christian Oxner as much as possible, looking to create indecision. This paid off in the 20th minute, when Klomp's header was deflected by Bevan. A crowded Oxner had to react at the last second and was unable to keep the ball out of the back of the net. "Halifax are a big side," said Cavalry manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr., adding, "So you've got to move them. Sometimes you use their size against them and that's what we did on the first goal." He mentioned that set pieces are something that Cavalry work on each week in training, giving credit to coach Leon Hapgood who is responsible for tailoring the side's set-piece strategy to their opponent. "In this league, in a league of parody, it does come down to it," Wheeldon Jr. said. "We won the game against Edmonton on two set plays and now we've come away with a road point. It is massive, because Halifax aren't going to give you a lot, especially at home, so you've got to make them stretch and pay as best you can." Hart said that he did talk to his side pregame about limiting Cavalry's set-piece opportunities given how dangerous they were. He was absolutely right to be concerned, as it was off of a late free-kick that the visitors were able to claim a point. Speaking of danger, only York United has created more chances off of set pieces this season than Halifax. They showed a few different looks on corner kicks throughout the match, the most successful of which involved finding Salter at the back post. Both times the ball got through to him, Salter showed excellent composure. In the first half, he headed the ball downwards, bouncing it off the ground and in a perfect spot for Peter Schaale. Schaale's header may have hit the woodwork, but Akeem Garcia was on hand to finish off the chance.

Halifax once again shows attacking ability at home​

The Wanderers have now scored seven goals during the 2022 campaign. Five of those have come in their two home matches. While Hart acknowledged that they have work to do when travelling, it was a very encouraging performance from his group in front of goal. They generated 1.52 expected goals and created 3 big chances during the match. Only Atlético Ottawa in the opening match of the season had a higher expected goal total against Cavalry this season. "Good balanced performance," said HFX manager Stephen Hart of his attacking unit. "[Samuel], Akeem, Cory, the front line, they did well, they put them under pressure and Salter, in particular, looked very strong right until the end of the game." Salter showed several different facets of what makes the 21-year-old one of the most promising young attackers in the league. Be it his ability to get in behind, his clever movement and composure on set pieces or his ability to beat players with the ball at his feet (three-for-three on successful dribbles), he was the most dangerous player on the park. The graphic below shows the number of chances and good areas that Halifax was able to get into against Cavalry. They had five shots on target, and 17 shot attempts in total. While they would have liked to have capitalized on more, Hart was impressed with both how his attack has been clicking of late, and also how spread out the chance creation has been. "I think the goals will come, we are getting into some good positions," he said. "We had corners and free-kicks and we had those sort of half opportunities. But I'm glad that they are coming up with goals because the goals need to be distributed right across the attack, not just dependant on one person."

A wild ending leads to a big road point for Cavalry​

Last year, Cavalry were the best road team in the Canadian Premier League, with an 8-3-3 record away from home. Today, it was clear why as they poached a massive point at the death from a very good Halifax side in one of the league's most difficult away venues. The hosts had a few moments where they could have seen out the match, including late in the second half when substitute Marcello Polisi elected to try to find teammate Ryan Robinson in the box instead of going to the corner flag. "We had an opportunity to take the ball to the corner flag, but young player, little enthusiastic," said Hart, "but the leadership on the field should have guided him better. Because you can't hear us from the bench." Moments like that could have prevented what came next, Musse forcing a foul outside the Halifax box. On the ensuing free-kick, he found Klomp among a swarm of attacking Cavalry players. "Not much, I can tell you that," said Klomp with a laugh, when asked what he saw on the goal. "I was lucky to hit it with my head/shoulder and at first we thought it was cancelled, but in the end, it counted so everybody was happy." While the goal itself may not have been the prettiest Cavalry will ever score, it wasn't just a moment of pure luck. "We train on set plays a lot, attacking ones, and it is good that it pays off," said Klomp. "I have a good connection with Musse, I know where he wants to put the ball." Initially, as Klomp mentioned, it looked as though the referee had ruled the goal off, causing a lot of confusion from Cavalry players. But the referee then pointed to the centre circle and the visiting players celebrated a hard-earned point. Player of the Match

Samuel Salter -- HFX Wanderers Salter really was at the centre of just about everything Halifax did in attack. He had a goal, helped set up the other, had four shots, three of which were on target, and created three chances during an incredibly impressive offensive performance.

What’s next?

Cavalry head home for just the second time this Canadian Premier League season, where they will host Valour on Saturday, May 21 (1:30 p.m. MT/ 3:30 p.m. ET). Halifax has another tricky home fixture upcoming, with Forge FC visiting on Friday, May 20 (7:00 p.m. AT/6:00 p.m. ET) in a match where both clubs will be looking to build momentum before meeting MLS sides in the Canadian Championship. Watch all matches live on OneSoccer. In addition to its website and app, OneSoccer is now available on TELUS channel 980 and on Fubo TV. Call your local cable provider to ask for OneSoccer today.

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