2021 CPL regular season — Match #52 York United vs. HFX Wanderers August 7, 2021 at 6 pm ET/5 pm AT York Lions Stadium, Toronto, Ontario Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here

York United is set to host HFX Wanderers FC Wednesday in a tilt between two CanPL clubs looking to make a statement in the second half of the 2021 season. The Wanderers are in the midst of a neat all-Ontario road trip, set to face Atlético Ottawa this weekend and having taken a 1-1 draw against Hamilton’s Forge FC on Sunday. Alex Marshall’s first half goal and Halifax’s all-around impressive play were matched by a cross-turned-shot from Kwame Awuah that beat Christian Oxner. The extreme heat – and injuries to Akeem Garcia and Mateo Restrepo – has left the team reeling. "We knew this trip was going to be a difficult one with very little rest," HFX Wanderers coach Stephen Hart said. "The main concern is, of course, the heat and weight loss from the games – it was 45 degrees on the turf Sunday. We need to manage our players." Morale will be high in the York camp after their 5-0 win over League1 Ontario side Master's FA on Saturday in the Canadian Championship. Goals from Max Ferrari, Osvaldo Ramirez, Jordan Wilson, and a brace from Julian Ulbricht were an impressive sight and a nice follow up from the team’s tight 1-1 draw with Ottawa and their fourth match in a row without a loss post-bubble. Wednesday’s match sees both the Wanderers and York cross the halfway mark in their 2021 regular season with playoff aspirations becoming clearer. Depending on results Tuesday, York could draw level with third with a win while the Wanderers, on 12 points from 12 matches, could come a point off York with a win.

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New faces for York: Jimmy Brennan will have a couple new faces at his disposal in league play Wednesday. Attacker Sebastian Gutierrez, who made his club debut in the Masters FA win, has been added to their CanPL squad while defender Matteo Campagna, 17, has been signed by the club on loan from the Vancouver Whitecaps. "[Gutierrez] is a very good footballer – good balance and vison. You saw a glimpse of that but we need to manage that now. We’d like to see him under that striker – that number 10 role," Brennan said before the game. Campagna, who trained with the club Tuesday, is replacing defenders Ryan Lindsay and Felix N’sa who have been announced to have season-ending injuries by the club. Centre-back Roger Thompson also won’t be available for selection, according to Brennan, ahead of Wednesday’s match.

Late goals always a threat: The Wanderers have had a brutal time in the closing stages of matches recently. Stephen Hart’s side has given up a goal after the 89th minute in each of their last three league games. Even more cruelly, the team scored first in all three matches. While Kwame Awuah’s last-kick-of-the-game equalizer Sunday could be seen as a fluke, it came following sustained pressure from the hosts as Halifax. How the Wanderers handle final moments against York could very well be crucial to the result.

Tale of two attacking thirds: Finishing is a big cause of concern for both teams going into Wednesday’s tilt. The Wanderers have created the second most chances – and even 100, according to Opta statistics – but have scored a league worst 10 goals. "That's been the story of this season," Hart said, after revealing striker Garcia and defender Restrepo will be out "for a while" following injuries away to Forge. "At the end of the day, we had the chances to go two-nil up on two occasions – very good chances we didn't score on, and you end up paying the price." York, meanwhile, is coming off a five-nil win over Master’s and, while those chances came against an opponent outside of CanPL, there were some positives to come out of it for Brennan: "We want to continue that momentum – but it’s about keeping those good habits… Against HFX, are we going to have as many chances? Probably not. We just need to be very precise in the attacking third."


HFX Wanderers wins: 2 || York United wins: 2 || Draws: 3

Previous match:

August 7, 2021 – HFX Wanderers 2-3 York United


"York is confident, they're on a roll and they're playing well... I'm sure Jimmy would like to continue that Wednesday." - HFX Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart

"We're getting healthy, the guys are getting fitter with this time off... we've been working hard with these guys to get them healthy go out and perform. It's given me a headache as I need to decide who that XI is and who will be coming on and when." - York United head coach Jimmy Brennan

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