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The Wanderers Recap: Matchday 2

By on April 19, 2024 0 573 Views

The Halifax Wanderers have had a difficult start to the season, there is no way around it.

Two losses, with both having stretches where they looked completely lost and indecisive, while also having moments in the game where they looked completely in control.

Slow starts to seasons are not new to the club. As you may remember, the Wanderers drew their first five games last season and had to wait till Matchday 9 to get their first win. If the Wanderers win against Ottawa on the April 27, they will have the same exact points tally after three games as last season, so don’t lose all hope yet.

Halifax Wanderers Aidan Daniels
Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier

Match Recap:

30 seconds into the match, Yann Fillion was forced into making a save on a legitimate scoring chance from Vancouver FC. In a way, this was a sign of things to come, as the Wanderers never really got into a settled defensive shape as Vancouver found more than their fair share of chances throughout the match.

As mentioned in last week’s Wanderers Report, it didn’t look and feel like the defense was confident in their new shape and roles. Individually, all three of the centre-backs made solid plays against Pacific, but it was when they had to defend as a group instead of as individuals that things fell flat. Outside of Cale Loughrey (who had arguably his worst match in a Wanderers shirt), the same can be said for this match against Vancouver. In individual duals and on the ball, both Julian Dunn and Dan Nimick looked competent. Yet, they lacked the familiarity and connectivity that was such a staple in defense last season for the club.

This lack of team cohesiveness truly was the difference, as both goals came off of Wanderers’ mistakes.

The first goal, scored by Rocco Romeo in the 17th minute, came from a corner. After a failed clearance attempt, Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare headed the ball back towards his own goalkeeper at a good pace. While Yan Fillion just barely parried it away, it unfortunately landed at the feet of the tall and rangy VFC defender.

While the Wanderers tried to strike back, they couldn’t handle the erratic press from Vancouver and found their patterns of play to be unpredictable.

This press would eventually be capitalized on by Vancouver, even though it was during one of the Wanderers’ better stretches of play.

This will not be a controversial statement, but these are the type of plays that we did not see from 2023 Young Player of The Year Candidate Dan Nimick last season.

In an effort to be optimistic, let’s wait to pass judgment on how good this team will be because right now, we are seeing a team that has been on the road for four weeks.

Standings:

W/D/L: 0/0/2 (0 Points) Last place, one game in hand over six of the other seven CPL teams.

There is not much to say here: these two performances have been well below the standard that Patrice Gheisar set for the club last season. Expectations are hard to live up to; that is the burden of success.

Milestones:

Brazilian midfielder Vitor Dias made his debut for the HFX Wanderers.

Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare is one appearance away from 50 in all competitions for the club. He will become just the tenth player in club history to achieve that milestone.

Header Image Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier / Vancouver FC

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