PREVIEW: HFX Wanderers vs. FC Edmonton — 2022 Match #62
Canadian Premier League

2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #62
HFX Wanderers vs FC Edmonton
July 22, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. AT/12:30 p.m MT
Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia
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The first match of a CPL double-header takes place in Halifax on Saturday, as HFX Wanderers FC host FC Edmonton at Wanderers Grounds in the club’s 2022 Pride Match.

Both sides are coming off heavy defeats and will have something to prove, especially the Haligonians, who have uncharacteristically lost three of their last four home games in CPL action — being outscored 9-1 in the process.

Last time out the Wanderers were at Spruce Meadows to take on first-place Cavalry FC, and came away empty-handed. After midfielder Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé was sent off in the first half, the side conceded three goals in the second 45. Ali Musse scored a brace while Sergio Camargo added the other as Cavalry scored three times in eight minutes to earn themselves a 3-0 victory.

For FC Edmonton, a heavy 5-1 defeat at the hands of Forge FC was the second defeat in a row for the CPL’s last-place club. Woobens Pacius scored a hat trick and Aboubacar Sissoko and Kyle Bekker added the others as The Hammers dominated in front of their home fans in Hamilton. Kairo Coore scored for the Eddies, a shot that slipped through the hands of Forge goalie Triston Henry, but it wasn’t enough to spark what would have been a miraculous comeback.

These two sides have met twice already in 2022, and Halifax has won both of those games — a 3-1 result at the Wanderers Grounds in April, and a 2-1 win for the visitors at Clarke Stadium in June. The Eddies scored first in both of those matches, but both times were unable to hang onto a result.

A win would do both teams some good when it comes to climbing up the standings, but three points wouldn’t be enough for either to move up at all. A Wanderers victory would move them equal on points with Valour FC (with the Winnipeg-based club playing later on Saturday), but Valour have a far superior goal difference. For Edmonton, a win would move them within a point of York United ahead of The Nine Stripes hosting Atlético Ottawa on Sunday.

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  • Eddies looking to bounce back from heavy defeat in Hamilton midweek: FC Edmonton were on the wrong end of a lopsided 5-1 result midweek, losing to Forge FC in Hamilton on Tuesday. The first half was rough — as Woobens Pacius scored twice and Aboubacar Sissoko made it 3-0. Then, with one of the last kicks of the half, Kyle Bekker curled a corner directly into the net without touching anything else — making it 4-0 going into halftime. Starting goalkeeper Andreas Vaikla was chased from the match, replaced by Darlington Murasiranwa after the break. Edmonton scored the first goal in the second half, a shot from Kairo Coore that Triston Henry was unable to get a strong hand to, but Pacius would score a fifth goal for Forge later in the half, completing the first hat trick of his CPL career. It was a difficult result for the Eddies, but with a short turnaround before this match in Halifax, they didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on it. “Halifax is a challenging place to play, but we need to bounce back,” said Eddies head coach Alan Koch on Friday. “We’re very disappointed with our performance the other night. We’re excited to play, and we’re glad we don’t have to wait a week, two weeks, three weeks to play the game, it’s coming very quickly which is exciting.”
  • Gagnon-Laparé suspension being appealed, but he’ll miss this match: HFX Wanderers midfielder Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé was given a straight red card after an altercation with Cavalry FC midfielder Joe Di Chiara in their last match, a punishment that is accompanied by a three-match ban. After Cavalry right back Roberto Alarcón took out HFX Wanderers midfielder Kareem Sow with a hard tackle, there was some pushing and shoving in the middle of the pitch, and Di Chiara fell over, making the most of any force Gagnon-Laparé used. Halifax have appealed the decision, believing that their midfielder was wrongly punished for his involvement in the incident, but he will miss at least one match. Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart didn’t have an update about the appeal on Friday afternoon, but said that “he’ll be out for tomorrow’s game, that’s for sure.”
  • Restrepo set to play final professional match: HFX Wanderers fans will be saying goodbye to one of their top players on Saturday afternoon, as defender Mateo Restrepo is hanging up his boots to focus on his medical career, and attend the prestigious Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. The 25-year-old former Canadian youth international will play one final match at Wanderers Grounds, which has been the home stadium for all three of his seasons as a professional player after joining HFX Wanderers in 2020. “It’s tough to leave mid-season, and if it were up to me, I would finish the season with the boys,” Restrepo said in a press release. “I leave with a heavy heart but have faith in the team and the staff, and I’m just happy to have been a part of the group these past three seasons.” When he takes the pitch it will be his 37th appearance for the club, which he joined after studying cellular and molecular biology at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he was also a standout soccer player. He continued studying while with the Wanderers, and now leaves the club to pursue his new career. “He’s a role model on and off the pitch,” said teammate Aidan Daniels. “The way he carries himself in life and on the field, he’s the ultimate professional, it’s been a blessing to have him, and there are not many people I know who could do what Mateo is doing, and I’m super proud and happy for him.” The club have also announced that they’re finalizing the signing of a Canadian defender that they expect will be completed in the next week.


HFX Wanderers wins: 5 || FC Edmonton wins: 3 || Draws: 2

Previous match:

June 14, 2022 – FC Edmonton 1-2 HFX Wanderers