Halifax advance to Qualifying Round 2 of Canadian Championship 2019

HFX Wanderers dropped its second leg to League1 Ontario’s Vaughan Azzurri 1-0, yet advanced on the away goals rule, two-game aggregate 3-3. The match took place […]

HFX Wanderers dropped its second leg to League1 Ontario’s Vaughan Azzurri 1-0, yet advanced on the away goals rule, two-game aggregate 3-3. The match took place May 22 at the Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Premier League team winners will play its next Canadian Championship match against Valour FC on June 5.

Knowing they needed to score at least twice, the Azzurri were on the front foot. They jumped on HFX relentlessly in the opening ten minutes with high pressure on the Wanderers anytime they possessed the ball. They forced a couple turnovers, sent a handful of crosses into the Wanderers box, but couldn’t find a goal, the home side cleared everything.

Halifax settled into the match, started to create some pressure of their own, yet never got anything on target. It was a cagier affair then leg one. The teams had learned of each other from that first leg, resulted in a less open match than the one in Vaughan.

First chance came in the 26th minute, Juan Diego Gutierrez of Halifax rifled a left footer from well outside the box, just wide of the goal.

A minute later came the opening goal, it would be the only goal. Ryan Raposo dribbled up the left side, crossed a waist height ball into the box, a partially screened Christian Oxner mishandled it, trickled past the keeper into the goal. It would go down in the books as an own goal by Oxner.

Both teams traded partial chances the rest of the first half, yet neither team had registered a shot on goal in the frame. The fouls outweighed the chances by lots to little.

Halifax looked the better of the two sides early on in the second half, Mohamed Kourouma had the first chance, didn’t get enough on his shot, second chance came minutes later, Kourouma struck it wide. Vaughan stuffed every attack the Wanderers put forward.

On an afternoon where there wasn’t a lot of flair going forward, it was Vaughan’s Samer Fathazada that created the best moment of the match. Weaved and moved with the ball, took it inside the Wanderers area and fired one, Oxner did well to save over the bar.

Not much happened the rest of the way, in that of threats on goal. Five subs took place over a 15-minute span, Halifax appeared quite comfortable holding the edge to close out the two-game series as they out the clock.

Vaughan’s frustrations showed in the 89th minute, midfielder Alistair Johnston send off for a second yellow card.

The HFX Wanderers Starting XI with Canadian Christian Oxner in goal. The 4-4-2 lineup played Canadians Ndzemdzela Langwa, captain Chakib Hocine, Peter Schaale, Andre Bona from left to right across the back. Mohamed Kourouma, Andre Rampersad, Elton John, Juan Diego Gutierrez from left to right across the midfield. Akeem Garcia and Kodai Iida up front.

Coach Stephen Hart made two changes in the second half, brought on a pair of Canadians. Iida replaced by Tomasz Skublak (68’) and Kourouma with Alex Carolis (81’).

Vaughan Azzurri starting XI with Matt George in goal. They played a 4-4-2 formation. Daniel Cramarossa, Duran Lee, Shiquan Lowe, Jarred Phillips from left to right across the back line. Jarek Whiteman, Alistair Johnston, captain Edward Lay and Ryan Raposo from left to right in the midfield. Maksym Kowal and Samer Fathazada the strikers.

Azzurri coach Patrice Gheisar kept his starters in as long as possible, looked for just one more goal to advance, made three changes all in the latter par of the second half. Whiteman replaced by A. Gray (73’), Raposo with D. Harris (76’), Fathazada with Jason Mills (82’).


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