HIGHLIGHTS: HFX Wanderers FC vs. Atlético Ottawa (Sept. 18, 2023) | Presented by tonybet
The Nova Scotian capital played host to yet another jaw-dropping spectacle under the lights on Monday night, as both Halifax Wanderers and Atlético Ottawa surrendered leads, with both sides scoring in stoppage time after the 90th minute, en route to a 3-2 win for the Wanderers to put them into fourth place.
After a pacey start, Ottawa almost opened the scoring just five minutes in as an excellent piece of quick transitional play up the left flank eventually found the head of Samuel Salter, and the former Wanderer put the ball in the net, but he was ruled to be offside.
Not long after, though, Atlético found a goal that did count. Salter brought the ball down on the left side and worked a quick give-and-go with Ollie Bassett, who cut to the left and whipped a cross back to Salter at the top of the box. Salter brought it down and sent a shot toward goal, and Wanderers keeper Yann Fillion got his hands to it but couldn’t push it away as the ball trickled in behind his dive.
The two sides traded blows the rest of the first half, with Bassett and Halifax’s Massimo Ferrin both coming inches from finishing but not quite able to get the right touch on the ball in front of an open goal. Atleti likely had the better of the chances after opening the scoring, but ultimately they went into halftime unable to extend their lead from 1-0.
Coming out of halftime, though, the tide turned quickly. Ferrin immediately created a dangerous chance by dancing with the ball in between two defenders, and although Nathan Ingham saved his shot he set an early tone. Just moments later, it would be Ferrin who scored the equalizer: Daniels played a ball from the right into the box, which Jordan Perruzza wisely left to go past him into Ferrin’s path, and the former Vaughan star slipped it past Ingham to make it 1-1.
Less than 10 minutes later, the energy had done a complete 180 at the Wanderers Grounds, as Ottawa cleared the first phase of an attack, but only as far as Lorenzo Callegari. The French midfielder curled an inch-perfect ball over the top of the Atleti defence, to where Perruzza was running into space and able to head it down and score, giving the hosts the lead.
Both managers turned to the bench after Halifax’s second goal, with each of them choosing to call on a Trinidad and Tobago international. Ottawa brought on striker Malcolm Shaw in place of Gabriel Antinoro, while Halifax deployed club captain Andre Rampersad in midfield to replace Mo Omar. Carlos Gonzalez’s next turn to the bench, though, was more surprising: the Ottawa boss took off Golden Boot leader Ollie Bassett in place of Rubén del Campo.
The game quietened down just a little bit for the next 20 minutes, until it suddenly became extremely loud once again.
As the clock ticked over into stoppage time, Ottawa at last found a way into the penalty area, and although Doneil Henry got his body in front of the initial shot, Salter pounced on the rebound and fired from the top of the box. His shot took two deflections, including one massive one off Cale Loughrey at the post for it to bounce into the net and give Ottawa a dramatic equalizer — or so they thought.
Immediately after the kickoff, Zach Fernandez came barrelling down the left touchline, playing a quick give-and-go with Daniels before beating a defender to get into the box, squaring it to Tomas Giraldo who scored perhaps the biggest goal in Wanderers history to date to put the hosts right back in front in an outstanding flash of drama in Halifax.
As a result, the Wanderers took all three points and moved back into fourth place, with a three-point cushion over Ottawa.
13′ — Samuel Salter (Atlético Ottawa)
49′ — Massimo Ferrin (Halifax Wanderers)
56′ — Jordan Perruzza (Halifax Wanderers)
90+1′ — Cale Loughrey (Halifax Wanderers) (Own Goal)
90+2′ — Tomas Giraldo (Halifax Wanderers)
49′ — Yellow: Mohamed Omar (Halifax Wanderers)
53′ — Yellow: Gabriel Antinoro (Atlético Ottawa)
74′ — Yellow: Andre Rampersad (Halifax Wanderers)
90+1′ — Yellow: Zachary Fernandez (Halifax Wanderers)
90+3′ — Red: Callum Watson (Halifax Wanderers)
90+6′ — Yellow: Yann Fillion (Halifax Wanderers)