PREVIEW: York9 FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC – Match #96
Canadian Premier League — Match #96 York9 FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC October 19, 2019 — (1:30 p.m. ET) Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
HFX Wanderers FC has yet to win a Canadian Premier League match away from home.
Stephen Hart’s side has succumbed to 10 losses and three draws over 13 away trips in league play this season, and head into this, their final match of the 2019 campaign hoping to earn at least one victory outside the confines of Wanderers Grounds. But, it won’t be easy – they’ll be taking on third-placed York9 FC at York Lions Stadium, who themselves are coming off a pair of 4-0 wins against Forge FC and Valour FC, respectively.
And, don’t forget … the last time HFX took on York9 away from home, they lost 6-2. So, the precedent isn’t exactly close.
So, a win away from home is the dream for Hart’s side. For Jimmy Brennan’s ranks, an opportunity to move three points further toward the top of the table, and really cement their dominance over the bottom four, is the point-based incentive on a day that will see the Nine Stripes bid farewell to Generation IX and the rest of their home fans for one final time this year. There’s no Finals 2019 concerns for either team, of course, nor any permutations possible for the Fall crown – this is purely a matter of pride for both outfits.
Can the Wanderers pull off an unprecedented win away from home? Or will Yorky get the last laugh at York Lions Stadium? It all comes to an end on October 19, as these two teams play one final time in 2019. The Nine Stripes finish third regardless of this result, which could prove significant in next year’s Canadian Championship seeding, if the current format is retained. This could also be the final match Ryan Telfer plays for York9, as his loan move to Toronto FC would see him return to the Reds at the end of the CPL season.
KEYS TO THE MATCH
Don’t repeat last time: It’s pretty obvious to say, but … HFX cannot have a repeat of the last time they met York9 at York Lions Stadium. A 6-2 loss isn’t something you’d like to relive, after all. So, how do you make sure this go-around doesn’t end the same way? First, rid yourself of the mentality that it’s even possible. Doubts fester. Secondly, be solid defensively; no need for unnecessary runs forward by wingbacks, especially with Telfer and Gattas on the prowl. Lastly? Survive the battles, for the war. Take the game 15 minutes at a time. It’ll ebb and flow, as such.
Early goals do the trick: Of course, if York9 is entertaining the idea of repeating their last win over HFX – not to mention rolling on the positive momentum of a pair of 4-0 wins prior to this encounter – they’ll want to find the back of the net sooner rather than later. It took four goals in the second half to down Valour in their last match; but, with a fragile HFX visiting a ground that hasn’t been kind to them in the past, you have to imagine a goal in the first 10 minutes of play will do more harm than good for the HFX backline.
Exploit the middle: So much of HFX’s success comes when Akeem Garcia and Mohamed Kourouma go down the flanks before cutting in, but that leaves a tremendous amount of space for central midfielders like Manny Aparicio and Ryan Telfer to exploit on the reverse. If York9 wants to win the 90 minutes of football, it’ll require them to time their runs, accordingly. There’s no need to push the issue; let HFX do the heavy lifting, and attack as a team, using the sort of chemistry garnered over the course of a 28-match campaign. Let Y9’s passing acumen shine.
York9 FC: Nathan Ingham; Morey Doner, Luca Gasparotto, Daniel Gogarty, Diyaeddine Abzi; Joe Di Chiara, Wataru Murofushi, Manny Aparicio; Rodrigo Gattas, Simon Adjei, Ryan Telfer
HFX Wanderers FC: Christian Oxner; Andre Bona, Duran Lee, Matthew Arnone, Alex De Carolis; Andre Rampersad, Elton John, Juan Diego Gutierrez; Mohamed Kourouma, Akeem Garcia, Luis Alberto Perea