HIGHLIGHTS: Vancouver FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC (Sept 23, 2023) | Presented by tonybet
Vancouver FC claimed back-to-back wins for the first time in club history on Saturday, as they downed the Halifax Wanderers through a 95th-minute winner off an own goal from Halifax’s Daniel Nimick.
As a result, the Wanderers will have to wait to clinch a playoff spot, which they would’ve been able to do with a victory.
Instead, Vancouver continued to have a strong end to their season, as despite having been eliminated from the playoff race, they’ve really found their legs as of late.
Because of that, they continue to play spoiler for other teams in the playoff race, and this game was the latest example of their ability to do that.
Returning to the match itself, Halifax got off to a flying start to this one, and they were nearly rewarded for it right away, as they found a glorious chance in the 3rd minute. There, Tiago Coimbra found Aidan Daniels with a great cross, but despite finding himself alone in front of the goal, Daniels’s first-time shot would be denied by Vancouver’s Callum Irving.
Continuing to push, Halifax did well to maintain their pressure, too. As a result, they’d come close to scoring on a few other occasions early, as Massimo Ferrin slashed a shot just wide after a corner, before Daniels sent a powerful attempt over the goal from distance.
Soon after, Halifax had their best look of the game up to that stage, as they nearly found their opener in the 27th minute. After a great through ball from Tomas Giraldo, Tiago Coimbra found himself alone behind Vancouver’s defence, but he flashed his shot just wide of the mark.
At the other end, however, Vancouver would start to wake up, as they looked to grab a foothold in the game. They’d nearly find an opener in the 35th minute, too, as Renan Garcia put a lot of power behind a free kick, sending it just wide after squeaking his shot through the wall.
From there, however, Halifax would do well to survive the Vancouver pressure and grab an opener just minutes later. After a line-piercing ball from Zachary Fernandez, Massimo Ferrin found himself in on a breakaway, and he’d make no mistake with a cool finish to open the scoring.
Yet, despite entering the half down a goal, Vancouver did well to pick themselves back up for the second half, as they started to really grow into the game in the second stanza.
Off the back of that, Alejandro Díaz nearly tied things up in the 67th minute, as he flashed a dangerous left-footed shot toward goal from in-close, but his shot would deflect just over the mark.
Despite that near-miss, however, Vancouver would continue to push, and found their equalizer in the 69th minute. After catching Halifax in possession in midfield, Elliot Simmons found Gabriel Bitar with a dangerous pass, one that Bitar would take in stride and slot home from the edge of the box to make it 1-1.
With the game starting to really tilt in their favour, Vancouver wouldn’t be done pushing, either. Through that, they almost grabbed their lead in the 73rd minute, as Anthony White had a good look from inside of the box, but the Vancouver centre-back just couldn’t keep his half-volley attempt below the crossbar.
Finally finding the legs to respond, however, Halifax started to push as they looked to regain their lead. First, Armaan Wilson nearly found the net with a dangerous attempt, one that was just blocked by Vancouver’s James Cameron inside of the box, before Wilson then followed that up by nearly forcing a dangerous own goal out of Vancouver, one that was just kept out by the hands of Callum Irving.
Then, containing their late push, Halifax’s Jordan Perruzza came even closer in the 86th minute, as he did well to take down a perfect Lorenzo Callegari cross, but his shot would be just saved by the hands of Irving from in-tight.
Having withstood that Halifax pressure, though, Vancouver nearly found a winner of their own in the 88th minute. There, Ameer Kinani almost played the hero, as his deflected shot hit the crossbar, before James Cameron then had a chance at an empty net on the rebound, only finding his left-footed shot denied by a resolute block from Halifax’s Doneil Henry.
From there, that would set up another storybook ending. After a great flick from Ibrahim Bakare, Shaan Hundal found himself in alone on a breakaway, and he’d do well to send his shot past Halfiax’s Yann Fillion.
There, the unlikely would happen, as Halifax’s Daniel Nimick attempted to clear the ball, but he’d get it all wrong, slamming the ball off the crossbar and in to give Vancouver the late winner.
42′ — Massimo Ferrin (Halifax Wanderers)
69′ — Gabriel Bitar (Vancouver FC)
90+5′ — OG: Daniel Nimick (Vancouver FC)
37′ — Yellow: Rocco Romeo (Vancouver FC)
47′ — Yellow: Zachary Fernandez (Halifax Wanderers)
49′ — Yellow: Vasco Fry (Vancouver FC)
61′ — Yellow: Cale Loughrey (Halifax Wanderers)
90′ — Yellow: Mo Omar (Halifax Wanderers)