HIGHLIGHTS: Valour FC vs. HFX Wanderers (May 6, 2023)
Valour FC and the Halifax Wanderers combined for the first 0-0 draw of the Canadian Premier League season on Saturday, capping off a hard-fought battle at IG Field in this matchday’s tonybet Match of the Week.
A matchup between two teams who always play each other closely, the scoreline ended up reflecting that in the end, as defensive play ended up taking centre stage over offence.
Valour came out the gates strongly in this game, as they looked to give their home fans plenty to cheer about. Which, to their credit, they nearly did in the ninth minute, as Anthony Novak did well to force a strong save from Halifax’s Yann Fillion in tight after a nice ball from teammate Kian Williams.
At the other end, Halifax started to push forward, doing well to find some gaps behind Valour’s full backs in transition. That led to a nice chance for Wesley Timoteo in the 19th minute, too, as he snuck behind Valour’s back line, but his half-volley would slice wide.
Continuing a strong half for the home side, Pacifique Niyongabire nearly opened his CPL account in the 25th minute, as he slashed a shot just wide from inside the box, before he was denied by Fillion with a fantastic save just a few minutes later in the 30th.
Eager to end off the half on a high note, Halifax then had a couple of good looks of their own going the other way, though.
First, Zachary Fernandez was nearly the scorer in the 33rd minute, as he slammed a powerful strike just over the goal after a nice cutback from Timoteo. Then, Fernandez played provider, teeing up Andre Rampersad with a cutback in the 41st minute, with Rampersad only finding himself denied by a strong stop from Valour’s Rayane Yesli.
From there, however, the game would reach half time without any score, leaving both sides to try and find a next gear offensively as they tried to break that deadlock in the second half.
On the other side of the break, the Wanderers would come out strongly, picking up where they left off. As a result, they nearly scored in the 55th minute, as half time substitute Aidan Daniels found Fernandez with a nice cross, but his header would be easily caught by Yesli.
Then, continuing to add a spark off the bench, Daniels then picked up fellow half time substitute, Ryan James, with a carving ball behind Valour’s defence in the 58th minute. Despite being played in all alone, however, he’d be unable to get much power on his strike, leading to another save from Yesli.
Soon after, Daniels decided to go after it himself in the 66th minute, as he stepped up to take a free kick in a dangerous area. He’d catch all of it, too, striking the ball towards the top corner, yet that wouldn’t faze Yesli, who made a fantastic save to keep things at 0-0.
Finally getting a look of their own, Niyongabire did well to test Fillion from a dangerous angle in the 74th minute, but his shot would be easily saved. Then, immediately after, Kosi Nwanfarso had a good look for the Wanderers after a nice run at the other end, but much as was the case for the shots that came before his, Yesli had it covered.
From there, though, the game would slow down a fair bit, leading to a choppy end to the match, one that would fittingly end 0-0. As a result, both teams were left to split the spoils, continuing a streak of four such results for Halifax in league play, while sitting as a third straight tie for Valour.
49′ — Yellow: Théo Collomb (HFX Wanderers)
87′ — Yellow: Armaan Wilson (HFX Wanderers)
90′ — Yellow: Zachary Fernandez (HFX Wanderers)
90′ — Yellow: Abdou Samaké (Valour FC)
90+3′ — Yellow: Lorenzo Callegari (HFX Wanderers)
90+3′ — Yellow: Diego Gutiérrez (Valour FC)