Canadian Championship Preliminary Round: Day Two Preview
The second day of Canadian cup action is here!
Yesterday saw CF Montreal record a two-nil win over Vaughan Azzurri, while Forge bested FC Laval 3-0 in a match more comfortable than their previous PLSQ bout last year.
Today will see six teams step onto two pitches (thanks to a rare Canadian Championship double-header at York Lions Stadium), with two brand new entrants to the cup tournament going for broke. Without further ado, here’s what’s on the menu for tonight:
Halifax Wanderers vs Atletico Ottawa
With both teams unable to host the midweek cup match, this matchup will see both sides play on neutral ground at York Lions Stadium. Both Halifax and Ottawa squared up against one another last weekend in the CPL, resulting in a 1-1 draw after strong performances from both sides.
The new-look Wanderers were a sight under Patrice Gheisar, who has already got the engines running for an entertaining, attacking side. Expect the full-backs to aid a bombarding attack whilst Atletico Ottawa’s transformed midfield seeks to gain possession and pounce. Speaking to media yesterday, Gheisar said he hopes to ‘finish the job’ against the nation’s capital, aiming to see his side prove more clinical in front of goal.
This’ll be a good one to watch, especially with both teams keen to run deeper into the cup competition than previous years have allowed.
York United vs Vancouver FC
Martin Nash will be looking to redirect his club after a squad which looked strong on paper were felled two-nil in the opening match of their regular season: expect Osaze De Rosario back into the starting fold as Nash seeks to continue York United’s record of always surpassing the preliminary round. There’s a few knocks for Nash to deal with, however, and that’s a problem the visitors don’t have.
The away team will face back-to-back clashes against York United, whom they will also play in the CPL this weekend. Afshin Ghotbi’s side put in a strong performance for the team’s first-ever match last week, but fell to a late-but-great strike from Manny Aparicio.
Looking a fairly fearless side, they’ll be aware that a win tonight will be historic for the club – and that can really drive a young team to new heights. If they can reach the quarter-final stage, the new kids on the block will be paired up against the Vancouver Whitecaps – a coveted fixture for a team in the lower mainland.
TSS Rovers vs Valour FC
The day will close with history-in-the-making as the TSS Rovers become the first League1 BC club – and the first Canadian fan-owned team – to compete in Canada’s domestic cup. The reigning champions of British Columbia’s provincial league recently tested themselves against Vancouver FC to prepare for the clash, with former Wanderers midfielder Matteo Polisi returning to the fold.
Burnaby’s Pirates would have watched closely as the two other semi-pro entrants to the tournament were knocked out in yesterday’s action: they know they’ll need to be switched on for the full ninety and will need a bit of luck, too. Swangard Stadium has played home to plenty of history, and tonight will be another big moment to watch.
Meanwhile, Valour FC has kicked off its fifth-ever season with a bang, dispatching York United two-nil with a much-transformed attack that repeatedly split apart the Nine Stripes defense. Phillip Dos Santos and his team will enter as heavy favourites, with Marcello Polisi potentially squaring up against both is brother and his old team.
Today’s Canadian Championship action will begin with an early 5:00PM fixture between Halifax and Ottawa, with York United and Vancouver FC following at 8:00PM. Closing the action is TSS Rovers and Valour, who will play at 10:30PM EST.
That just leaves Pacific and Cavalry yet to play in the cup, with those sides set to close the preliminary round on Thursday evening.