Chances came but goals did not for Valour FC or HFX Wanderers FC at a jammed-packed Wanderers Grounds on Saturday, with both sides ending proceedings even for the first time over seven tilts this season
Both clubs combined for 12 shots on goal, many half-chances, but the game remained scoreless right to the final whistle.
Valour’s first clear-cut chance came with controversy after a half-hour of play. Ali Musse, capitalizing on a defensive mishap, went down in the box while attempting to strike the ball, leading to penalty appeals.
Musse’s chance highlighted a scoreless-yet-cagey first half, with the two sides meeting for the final time in 2019.
Valour continued a particularly fruitful day in front of goal in the second half, often cutting through HFX’s midfield line. Similarly, HFX also enjoyed half-chances at the other end, specifically via Thomasz Skublak, who arrived as a second-half substitute.
HFX started to find extra breakthroughs after 80 minutes, with Mohamed Kourouma finding touches inside the box several times.
A pair of late chances from Marco Bustos – including a speculative late bicycle kick, tipped over the bar by HFX goalkeeper Christian Oxner – marked the final decent opportunities of the match.
Valour will have a little time off before their next match, as they visit Spruce Meadows to take on Cavalry FC on Oct. 2 (9:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer). The Wanderers are in action a little sooner, with another home date next Saturday against FC Edmonton (1:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer).
HFX’s bombing right fullback formed an effective partnership with the left-footed Juan Diego Gutiérrez, providing much-needed width while keeping a tight ship defensively.
Skylar Thomas (Forge FC)
Key to keeping Valour’s clean sheet, the overpowering centre back was all over HFX attackers, jumping out to challenge on a break or showing defensive intellect to pull the ball away in the box, just as he did crucially against Mohamed Kourouma in the second half.
Mohamed Kourouma (HFX Wanderers)
“Cutting Kourouma” was a handful either up the middle or down the wing, generating several quality chances over a team-high three shots on target, two key passes and two crosses.