Stunning Pierre Lamothe Goal Leads HFX Wanderers to Three Points Against Pacific FC
Another Saturday game at the Wanderers Grounds proved to be a scorcher, on and off the pitch. With the August heat in full force today, the Wanderers Grounds was packed, and anticipating another tight contest, similar to last weeks home game against Valour FC.
Pacific FC came into this match off of a lot of travel, as well as mid-week Concacaf League action against Costa Rican side, CS Herediano. The HFX Wanderers came in with some renewed form with their last two matches being a significantly better showing than their mid-season slump.
The rosters were both rotated slightly, as it was a battle between two young goalkeepers. Emil Gazdov and Kieran Baskett came in for their respective clubs, as Callum Irving got rested, and Christian Oxner was out with a slight knock.
The game started out somewhat open, as the Wanderers controlled most of the game in the first 20 minutes. Ever since they changed to a 5-2-3 formation (fans are dubbing this Dorado-Ball after HFX assistant coach, Alex Dorado), they have looked much better in possession, and more able to deal with intense pressing from their opposition.
In the 30th minute, the entire game changed, as Manny Aparicio charged into Cory Bent, which led to a straight red card.
Some in CPL fan group-chats are saying this is more of an “orange” card, in live-speed and in-person, the foul looked extremely violent. Thankfully, Cory Bent was able to finish the rest of the first half, and was substituted at half-time. Outside of the card for Aparicio, the Pacific team was livid with the decision, as their assistant coach, Armando Sa, also received a red card after which two other Pacific players picking up yellows for dissent.
The rest of the first-half went by with a few small opportunities. One big one going to Kamron Habibullah, but Kieran Baskett made a great stop.
Half-time had a surprise guest, as Halifax native Nathan MacKinnon, whose Stanley Cup Champion parade happened to be on the same day, was brought out with the trophy to a massive standing ovation.
When the two teams emerged from the locker-rooms, it was clear that Pacific’s plan was to sit-back deep, defend for their life, and try to hit the Wanderers on the counter attack. For 81 long minutes, their plan worked. That was, until Pierre Lamothe hit an inch-perfect ball with the instep of his right foot.
After this stunning goal, the Wanderers took their turn parking the bus, and were able to hang onto a one-goal victory. This moves the Wanderers to 24 points, still ten outside of the last playoff spot. Playoffs are a long shot for the Wanderers, but many of these players look like they will fight till the last day as they seek to secure spots on CPL sides for the next season.