HIGHLIGHTS: HFX Wanderers vs Valour FC (August 13, 2022)
Winless since the month of June, the HFX Wanderers picked up a huge victory on Saturday, as they downed high-flying Valour 1-0 at Wanderers Ground.
Halting a two-game win streak for Valour, while also snapping a six-game winless skid of their own, it was a massive victory for Halifax, who narrowly kept their playoff hopes alive with this result.
Yet, right from the beginning, knowing the importance of this game for them, the Wanderers were flying right from the beginning, as they looked to put pressure on their guests.
As a result, they came close to scoring nearly right away, as first Sam Salter just flashed a shot wide of the post from inside of the box, before Lifumpa Mwandwe slammed a shot off the woodwork less than a minute later.
At the other end, Valour then found some life of their own in the 19th minute, as Moses Dyer managed to wriggle free in the box, but his shot would be easily saved by Christian Oxner.
Continuing their strong start, however, the Wanderers did well to cause some trouble off of a corner in the 26th minute, as a nice ball found Eriks Santos at the back post, with his header sailing just over the wrong side of the goal.
They’d continue to push as halftime neared, too, nearly causing Valour a scare in the 35th minute, where a dangerous Salter cross hit the leg of defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who’d accidentally send it towards his own goal, where it’d be kept out by an alert Rayane Yesli.
That strong push would eventually yield a positive outcome for the Wanderers, too, as right before half time, Valour’s Andy Baquero fouled Mwandwe inside of the box, conceding a penalty.
From there, up stepped Salter, who’d get the better of the mind duel with Yesli, slotting home into the side netting for his seventh of the season, giving his team a well-deserved lead.
Having seen that score hold up until half time, Valour came out strong in the second half, as they looked to find an equalizer. As a result, they’d nearly catch the Wanderers out less than two minutes in, as Sean Rea did well to find a pocket of space in the Halifax box, where he’d just flash a dangerous left-footed shot wide of the mark.
After that, however, the game would take a significant turn, as both sides turned up the physical play, leading to a big scrum, one that would see five players booked.
That’d prove to be key, as while they all stayed on the field despite the altercation, one of the recipients of a card, Valour’s Nassim Mekidèche, would pick up a second yellow for a last-ditch tackle just minutes later, reducing the guests to 10 players.
Through the space afforded to them after that sending-off, the Wanderers would then turn it up as they tried to seek a second goal, as Sam Salter came close with a pair of chances around the 69th minute, but one would be blocked, while the other was saved.
From there, however, the Wanderers would manage to hang on, as other than shots from HFX’s Mour Samb and Valour’s Rea that flashed wide, and an attempt from HFX’s Ryan Robinson that found the target, 1-0 is how the game would finish.
44′ — PK: Sam Salter (HFX Wanderers)
56′ — Yellow: Diego Gutiérrez (Valour FC)
56′ — Yellow: Nassim Mekidèche (Valour FC)
56′ — Yellow: Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers)
56′ — Yellow: Mo Omar (HFX Wanderers)
56′ — Yellow: Zachary Fernandez (HFX Wanderers)
66′ — Red (Second Yellow): Nassim Mekidèche (Valour FC)
72′ — Yellow: Moses Dyer (Valour FC)