HFX Wanderers were victorious in their return to Wanderers Grounds on Saturday afternoon, beating FC Edmonton 3-1 for their second win of the 2022 season. It was their first home game of the season, after a trio of road games to begin the year.
The Eddies were awarded a penalty just 8 minutes in, as Kairo Coore was brought down in the box by Wanderers defender Obeng Tabi. After Tabi, who was also responsible for the penalty that Pacific scored in HFX’s last game, made the foul, there wasn’t much protest from anyone inside Wanderers Grounds.
Julian Ulbricht stepped up for Edmonton and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner, giving his side an early lead on the road.
Tabi redeemed himself a few minutes later, firing a dangerous cross into the box that Eddies defender Terique Mohammed failed to clear away. Cory Bent pounced on it and poked it under Andreas Vaikla, and the ball just rolled over the line despite an effort from Luke Singh to sweep it away. It was Bent’s second goal in two matches, and tied the game up at 1-1 in the 17th minute.
The home side nearly took the lead a couple of minutes later, as Andre Rampersad headed the ball toward the top right corner from a set piece, but Vaikla made an impressive diving stop to extend his body and push it away from danger.
Both teams traded scoring opportunities later in the half. Coore, who was very involved in the opening half, sent a thumping effort past the far post from the right side of the goal, but it was never challenging Wanderers goalie Christian Oxner. Akeem Garcia — searching for his first goal of the season — shot the ball from a tight angle and also missed the far post of Vaikla’s net late in the half.
Halifax took the lead just after the hour mark, as Sam Salter scored his first of the season, finishing off a nice team effort. After Pierre Lamothe played a long ball over the Edmonton backline, Zachary Fernandez headed the ball into the path of Salter, who took a touch and slid the ball under the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
Fernandez won a penalty for his team a few minutes later, making a run into the box to meet another pass over the top, before being taken out by Vaikla, who was shown a yellow card. Akeem Garcia stepped up and slotted the ball into the same bottom left corner that Ulbricht found in the first half — the first goal of the season for the Wanderers attacker.
The Haligonians knocked on the door a few more times in the final 20 minutes, but the match would end 3-1. They jump up into third place in the standings, with six points in four games — just trailing Pacific’s 10 points and Atlético Ottawa’s seven. The Eddies sit in seventh with three points through five matches.
9′ — Julian Ulbricht (FC Edmonton) — penalty
17′ — Cory Bent (HFX Wanderers)
61′ — Samuel Salter (HFX Wanderers)
71′ — Akeem Garcia (HFX Wanderers) — penalty
8′ — Yellow: Obeng Tabi (HFX Wanderers)
14′ — Yellow: Terique Mohammed (FC Edmonton)
28′ — Yellow: Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers)
65′ — Yellow: Simon Triantafillou (FC Edmonton)
70′ — Yellow: Andreas Vaikla (FC Edmonton)