HIGHLIGHTS: HFX Wanderers FC vs. Valour FC (June 10, 2023)
The Halifax Wanderers claimed their first victory of the 2023 CPL season in style on Saturday, as they beat Valour FC 2-0 in emphatic fashion at Wanderers Grounds.
Having entered this game with six draws and two losses in eight games, it’s a huge victory for the Wanderers, whose last win had come all the way back on September 10th of last season.
As for Valour, it was more frustration for them, as they now remain winless in eight games after winning the opening match of the CPL season, with this match being the first time they lost a game by more than one goal.
Right from the first whistle, however, the Wanderers looked hungry to claim that first victory, making this result a deserved one.
Despite that, Valour almost got an early lead out of nowhere inside just two minutes, as Guillaume Pianelli acrobatically stretched his right leg to make contact on a dangerous corner, but his shot would strike the wrong side of the post to stay out.
At the other end, Halifax had a great look of their own in the third minute, as Callum Watson managed to find himself on a breakaway, but his shot would be saved by Valour’s Rayane Yesli, who did well to come off his line quickly to cut down the angle on the Wanderers midfielder.
A few minutes later, however, Watson would make no mistake when a second opportunity would fall for him.
After a great run from Aidan Daniels down the right-hand side, Daniels would whip in a dangerous low cross, one that’d find Watson at the back post after a deflection. There, Watson would do well to flick it in with a backheel attempt, sending Wanderers Grounds into a rapture of noise as they got to celebrate an early goal and lead.
Eager to add to their lead, the Wanderers would continue to push for the rest of the first half, too. As a result, Zachary Fernandez had a decent look from distance in the 32nd minute, before Tiago Coimbra came close on a corner in the 38th minute, continuing a strong half.
From there, however, the game would make it to half time with the Wanderers still leading by one, leaving both teams to regroup ahead of a crucial second stanza.
On the other side of half time, both teams would trade chances early, as Valour’s Klaidi Cela had a speculative attempt from distance off a free kick in the 49th minute that would sail well over the goal, before Halifax’s Massimo Ferrin had a hopeful crack from distance that would be easily saved by Yesli.
Then, however, the Wanderers would come alive at the perfect time to add to their lead. After some great pressure forced a Valour turnover, the ball would fall to Lorenzo Callegari in a dangerous area, where he did well to pick out Watson with a great through ball.
All alone with Yesli, Waston would then slot the ball into the low corner, giving the Wanderers their first two-goal lead of the season, while becoming the first CPL player to nab a brace this season.
Not done there, the Wanderers would continue to push, too. Because of that, they’d nearly make it three in the 58th minute, as Callegari had a look from distance, forcing a strong save from Yesli to deny him.
Continuing a strong half, that third almost came in the 70th minute, as Daniels found Ferrin on the run in the box with a carved through ball, but his powerful attempt would be saved by the strong hands of Yesli.
At the other end, Valour would finally get a look at goal in the 77th minute, as Kian Williams would step up to take a dangerous free kick, but his effort would sail just over the crossbar.
After that, though, that’d be the last of what both teams would be able to muster up, leaving the Wanderers to cruise to victory.
9′ — Callum Watson (Halifax Wanderers)
52′ — Callum Watson (Halifax Wanderers)
22′ — Yellow: Diego Gutiérrez (Valour FC)
30′ — Yellow: Marcello Polisi (Valour FC)
43′ — Yellow: Lorenzo Callegari (Halifax Wanderers)
63′ — Yellow: Kian Williams (Valour FC)
64′ — Yellow: Abdou Samaké (Valour FC)
76′ — Yellow: Zachary Fernandez (Halifax Wanderers)