Missed chances come back to bite Eddies in 2-1 loss
FC Edmonton striker Mamadi Camara tries to break through two HFX Wanderers defenders, Tuesday night at Clarke Stadium. IAN KUCERAK/FC EDMONTON
FC Edmonton striker Mamadi Camara tries to break through two HFX Wanderers defenders, Tuesday night at Clarke Stadium. IAN KUCERAK/FC EDMONTON

Jason Hills
FC Edmonton Communications

EDMONTON — There have been some real tough losses for FC Edmonton this season, but the latest one against HFX Wanderers FC, just added more salt into their wound.
After Wesley Timoteo’s goal in the 10th minute gave the Eddies a 1-0 lead,  Samuel Salter scored twice in a six minute span (53rd and 59th minute) to give the Wanderers a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Clarke Stadium.
The loss drops the Eddies record to 0-4-7, and are still searching for their first win of the season.

“I think tonight’s result is the most frustrating one of all of them so far,” Edmonton’s head coach, Alan Koch, admitted.
“That’s because you could see some very, very good moments in the first 45 minutes. If we capitalize on those, this is a different game altogether, but you can see the progression.”

The Eddies looked poised to earn their first win of the season, after a very strong first half. They had the Wanderers on their heels and were pushing the ball down the field looking to attack on every possession.
Timoteo gave the Eddies an early 1-0 lead when he took a nice crossing pass from captain Shamit Shome and drilled a shot past Wanderers goalkeeper Christian Oxner for the early lead.
FC Edmonton continued to press to try and extend their lead, but came up empty.
Moments later, Gabriel Bitar got a great shot off at the edge of the box, but it went just wide of the post.
In the 25th minute, Mamadi Camara worked his way inside the box and was able to catch the Wanderers defenders out of position, but Oxner was able to make the stop on Camara, not once, but twice.
The Eddies had another great scoring chance later in the first half, but Shome’s shot from the top of the box just grazed over the crossbar.

“I thought we played well for the first 30 minutes. We probably should’ve been up three or 4-0, and if you’re up three or 4-0 after 30 minutes, you’re probably going to win that game,” said Koch.
Despite their missed chances, the momentum was clearly on the side of the Eddies, but the Wanderers came out with a different mindset. They settled things down defensively, and started to push back in the early stages of the second half.
Salter finished off a nice passing play that was started by Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare to tie the match at 1-1, and then moments later he connected on a nice cross from Colin Gander to give the Wanderers the 2-1 lead.

“It’s bloody frustrating for all of us, because that’s the third game in a row that we’ve been up, and we’ve allowed the other team to get back into it. Whether that’s mental fatigue, physical fatigue, naivety,” said Koch.
“The progression now is too capitalize on those (scoring chances). If we think scoring one goal is enough, and we can sit back and hang on, it’s not going to happen in this league. The other teams in this league have quality players, and you could see, Salter stepped up for his team.
“We hoped we would win the game today. We came out with the right mentality. We spoke about it at half time, that we needed to be better in the second half, and we weren’t, and that’s disappointing.”

Despite the fact that the Eddies are still searching for their first win, there has been a steady positive progression in the team’s play over the last month.
In their last three matches, they’re 0-1-2, and offensively, they’re starting to find their groove.
A big part of that has been the play of striker Mamadi Camara, who was moved up front four games ago.

“His work rate is sublime,” said Koch.
“It’s through the roof. The guy has the ability to run from one to 90-plus and he just doesn’t slow down.
“So credit to him for the work that he puts in, and that’s what allows him to create opportunities for himself, but also allows him to create opportunities for other players, and he’s a big part of why we’ve created more chances in the last few games.”

FC Edmonton has proven all year long, they can compete with any team in the league. They can defend well, and offensively, they’re starting to score more, but it’s small moments in every match that have come back to haunt them.

“We have to play with more conviction,” said Koch.
“If we get a lead, we have to hold onto it. We’ve shown if we’re behind, we can come back. We’ve shown we can get a lead, but the next progression is, can we finish off the job?”

The Eddies return to the pitch on Sunday, June, 19 at 3 p.m. at Clarke Stadium when they face Atletico Ottawa.
It’s another edition of Little Eddies Sunday that features post-match autographs, bouncy castles and food special.

Get your tickets HERE