Halifax open CanChamp with 3:2 win over Vaughan
Posted on 16 May 2019 in Canadian Championship
League1 Ontario champions Vaughan Azzurri are behind in their Qualifying Round 1 matchup with HFX Wanderers FC after falling 3-2 at home in the first leg. After defeating Vaughan at home, the Canadian Premier League team now travel home to Halifax on 22 May to try and hold their lead and advance to face Valour FC in Qualifying Round 2 on 5 June.
Halifax wasted no time with Tomasz Skublak capitalizing on a Vaughan mistake opening up the scoring early against his old club with a goal in the 2’. Vaughan had a couple of chances to even up the score with a promising shot from Raheem Rose in the 16’ minute from just outside the box but missing wide right. Halifax’s Elliot Simmons received the first booking of the match with a yellow card for taking down Jarred Phillips. Halifax controlled the possession for most of the first half which led Vaughan chasing the ball.
Vaughan had another close scoring chance in the 32’ minute with a cross from Andrew Gray to Sameer Fathazada in front of the net but the shot was blocked by a Halifax defender. Before the end of the first half, Akeem Garcia headed a cross from Mohamed Kourouma into the back of the net after Kourouma beat his defender on the left side of the pitch in the 42’ minute to extend Halifax’s lead 0-2. A second yellow card was received by Allistair Johnston who made a hard tackle on Garcia in the 44’.
Vaughan came out into the second half with a quick goal in the 51’ minute to close the lead by a right-footed tip-in from Jarek Whiteman who received a cross from Raheem Rose right in front of the net. After missing a free kick chance by captain Edward Lay, Vaughan equalized the score after Ryan Raposo curled a goal in off a pass inside the box in the 61’. Another shot from Raposo in the 83’ minute to gain the lead, but could not get it passed Halifax goalkeeper Matt George. In a final effort, Kourouma had a promising run inside the box in the 90’ stoppage time but was awarded a penalty shot from a foul with just seconds left on the clock. Kourouma scored off his left foot in the top right corner to lift Halifax to defeat Vaughan at home in the first leg in a dramatic ending.
Wanderers’ Ndzemdzela Langwa replaced Chaktib Hocine (57’). Vaughan’s Maksym Kowal replaced Jarek Whiteman (65’). Wanderers’ Vincent Lamy and Zachary Sukunda replaced Tomasz Skublak and Juan Diego Guitérrez (71’). Vaughan’s Andrew Gray replaced with Dayonn Harris (76’), and Sameer Fathazada with David Velastegui (78’).
Vaughan’s Starting XI featured all Canadians. Goalkeeper Matt George with defenders Jarred Phillips, Shiquan Lowe, Raheem Rose and Duran Lee. Edward Lay captained the squad from the midfield alongside Jarek Whiteman and Alistair Johnston. Andrew Gray, Samer Fathazada and Ryan Raposo combined for Vaughan’s front line.
Halifax’s Starting XI featured Canadian Goalkeeper Christian Oxner. Canadian Chaktib Hocine captained the squad from the defence alongside Andre Bona and Canadians Alex De Carolis and Chrisnovic N’Sa. Akeem Garcia, Andre Rampersad, Juan Diego Gutiérrez and Canadians Elliot Simmons and Mohamed Kourouma made up the midfield. Canadian Tomasz Skublak was Halifax’s front line.
About the Canadian Championship
The Canadian Championship is Canada Soccer’s highest domestic professional soccer competition and is the sole qualification route for Canadian professional clubs into Concacaf Champions League and onto the FIFA Club World Cup.
Dubbed the Battle of the North, the Championship sets itself apart from all North American professional sports competitions that operate on both sides of the border as the only one to hold an all-Canadian competition that leads to the international stage.
Canadian content is a focus of the competition and since 2017, regulations state that each team must field a minimum of three eligible Canadian Internationals as starters for each match.
In 2019, the Canadian Championship will feature 13 teams including three Major League Soccer clubs, Toronto FC, Montréal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC; United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury FC; seven Canadian Premier League clubs, FC Edmonton, Forge FC, Valour FC, Cavalry FC, HFX Wanderers FC, Pacific FC, and York9 FC; Première ligue du Soccer de Québec’s AS Blainville; and League1 Ontario champions Vaughan Azzurri.
The Voyageurs Cup has been awarded to the Canadian Championship winner since 2008. Created by the Voyageurs Canadian Supporters group, the trophy represents Canadian fans’ commitment to the game in our country. The George Gross Memorial Trophy recognizes the Canadian Championship's Most Valuable Player, with Jonathan Osorio the 2018 winner. The award is named after the late George Gross, an honoured member of the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame.
About Canada Soccer
Canada Soccer, in partnership with its membership and its partners, provides leadership in the pursuit of excellence in soccer, both at the national and international levels. Canada Soccer not only strives to lead Canada to victory, but also encourages Canadians to a life-long passion for soccer. For more details on Canada Soccer, visit the official website at www.canadasoccer.com