HIGHLIGHTS: Pacific FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC (May 27, 2023)
Pacific FC and the Halifax Wanderers combined for a 1-1 draw in their first “coastal clash” of the 2023 CPL season, in an entertaining matchup at Starlight Stadium on Saturday.
For Pacific, it was a second straight draw in CPL action after a loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship in midweek, while for the Wanderers, it was a sixth draw in seven games to begin their season, as they still chase their first win in league play this year.
To begin proceedings, the hosts would get the first good look of the game in the 5th minute, as Manny Aparicio did well to get on the end of a nice Sean Young through ball, but his shot would be easily saved by Halifax’s Yann Fillion from a tight angle.
Continuing their bright start, Pacific had another good look in the 19th minute through Adonijah Reid, who broke free after some nice build-up play between Aparicio and Young, flashing a shot just wide of the goal on his left foot.
At the other end, Halifax had their first good look in the 22nd minute, as Massimo Ferrin stepped up to take a free kick in a dangerous area, but he’d send his attempt well over the goal. Just minutes later, Pacific’s Aymen Sellouf would also step up to a free kick, too, where he’d do well to force a save from Fillion.
Through that, Pacific would manage to open the scoring in the 32nd minute. Similarly to his chance earlier in the game, Reid managed to break free onto his left foot after a nice ball from Young, and he’d do well to wrap his foot around the ball, putting the ball into the low corner to give his team the lead.
From there, that’d allow Pacific to reach the break with the lead in hand, a huge boost for them and their fans. As for Halifax, it was a frustrating way to end what had been an otherwise solid half, leaving them to chase the game in the second half.
Despite their lead, however, Pacific had no plans on stopping there, either. They showed that in the 49th minute, as Sellouf did well to get on the end of an Aparicio cross, and he had all types of time to finish, but his shot attempt would be easily saved by Fillion.
Just minutes later, however, Halifax nearly opened the scoring at the other end. There, Wesley Timoteo had a great look inside the box after a nice ball from Zachary Fernandez, but his low shot was denied by Kieran Baskett, who managed to stick out a leg to deny the Wanderers’ wide player from breaching the target.
After that, the game hit a bit of a lull, as both teams settled into a rhythm. As a result, the next big chance didn’t come until the 72nd minute, when a dangerous ball found Halifax’s Riley Ferrazzo in the box, but he’d completely misstrike the ball from close range.
Soon after, Pacific responded with a great chance of their own, as Bradley Vliet cruised through the Wanderers’ backline and unleashed a shot from a tight angle, one that’d force a strong save out of Fillion to keep his team in the game.
They’d come to regret not grabbing that second goal, too, as Halifax then nabbed an equalizer in the 85th minute. There, second-half substitute, Tiago Coimbra, found fellow second-half sub, Aidan Daniels, wide-open in the box, with Daniels doing well to lift the ball over Baskett to grab the equalizer.
Despite the late goal, however, the drama would not be finished. Because of that, Pacific nearly grabbed a winner in the 93rd minute, as Aparicio found Djenairo Daniels with a great through ball, but his attempt would be easily saved from Fillion.
The last kick of the game, the referee would blow for full time soon after, leaving both teams to split the spoils on the evening.
32′ — Adonijah Reid (Pacific FC)
85′ — Aidan Daniels (Halifax Wanderers)
63′ — Yellow: Bradley Vliet (Pacific FC)