HIGHLIGHTS: Away goals see HFX past Azzurri to CanChamp QR2

HFX Wanderers are moving on in their first Canadian Championship foray having dispatched League1 Ontario side Vaughan Azzurri 3-3, 3-1 on away goals.

Wednesday’s second leg saw the Azzurri win 1-0, but HFX’s three goals in Leg 1 was enough to see the side advance to take on Valour FC in Round 2 of the recently-expanded competition.

Vaughan’s marker came in the 27th minute when a Ryan Raposo cross was deflected around the feet of Wanderers goalkeeper Christan Oxner, whose outstretched hand couldn’t reach the ball as it rolled across the goal line. The marker meant the sides were tied on aggregate but HFX held the advantage on away goals.

Despite the goal, Vaughan stifled offensively in the match, only recording their first shot in the 67th minute.

Stephen Hart’s side, keen to keep the GTA-based side at bay, sat back and defended the result, eventually eliminating the visitors from the competition.

The result means HFX Wanderers will move on to play Valour in the CanChamp’s second round. Valour will host leg one on Wednesday, June 5, with the return leg slated for Wednesday, June 12.

In the meantime, the Wanderers will shift their attention to the league and a date with Cavalry FC at Spruce Meadows on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. MT/OneSoccer). It will be the first match between the two in league action.

Box Score

27’ – Vaughan Peter Schaale (Own Goal)

33’ – Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers)
39’ – Kodai Iida (HFX Wanderers)
44’ – Sameer Fathazada (Vaughan Azzurri)
53’ – Juan Gutiérrez (HFX Wanderers)
59’ – Alistair Johnston (Vaughan Azzurri)
88’ – Second Yellow for Alistair Johnston (Vaughan Azzurri)
91’ – Thomasz Skublak (HFX Wanderers)

Key Performers

Juan Diego Gutierrez (HFX Wanderers) – HFX’s Peruvian maestro ran rampant on the right flank, cutting inside and keeping possession well through the first half. Gutierrez was an important link to the attack, one of the few HFX players to look dangerous. He looked comfortable playing in the middle in the second half, too, posting a 93% passing percentage.

Ryan Raposo (Vaughan Azzurri) – Vaughan’s “goalscorer” Raposo was a clear cut above in midfield. Technically skilled with good vision, the 19-year-old was a rare thorn in HFX’s side as Vaughan routinely looked to his flank to create.

Elton John (HFX Wanderers) –  Operating in tandem with countryman Andre Rampersad in the middle of the park, the 31-year-old John was key to creating a physical, imposing midfield at Wanderers Grounds.