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Wanderers aim to progress to Can Champ third round at Valour

The Wanderers take a one goal advantage into the second leg of the Canadian Championship second round at Valour FC, Wednesday night.

If Stephen Hart’s team can extend an impressive unbeaten run to four matches, it will lead to a third round clash against Ottawa Fury.

Another come from behind effort gave the Wanderers a 2-1 win over Valour in the first leg at home last Wednesday, with Tomasz Skublak and Mohamed Kourouma both on target.

The only disappointment for Hart was that his team couldn’t take advantage of a string of other chances — during a dominant second half spell — to register an even bigger victory margin.

Coach Stephen Hart is challenging his team to score more of the chances they are creating. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.
Coach Stephen Hart is challenging his team to score more of the chances they are creating. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.

“Valour will be very happy with that scoreline, going home all they need to do is win 1-0 so there is a lot of work for us to do,” said Hart. “We’ve got to show more composure and do the right things in terms of our finishing.”

However, Hart is full of praise for Skublak and Kourouma, who were both clinical in front of goal and whose all round play was stellar.

“Tomasz was fantastic. He has the qualities and it’s obviously what we got him for,” said Hart, noting he was especially pleased with how the big striker led the line, bringing the midfield runners into play.

“Mo has been getting into good positions but at times he has snatched or rushed shots and he calmed himself and took it quite well,” said Hart, of Kourouma’s perfectly placed curling left foot shot that found the corner.

Both Wanderers scorers know the job is only half done heading to IG Field in Winnipeg, in this two legged tie decided by the overall aggregate score.

Skublak was described as the Wanderers stand out player for his performance in the first leg by coach Stephen Hart. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.
Skublak was described as the Wanderers stand out player for his performance in the first leg by coach Stephen Hart. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.

“I definitely believe we have to go there and get a clean sheet, especially since they have an away goal, so we need to go over there and get a result,” Skublak said.

Having been unable to record a clean sheet so far this season, Kourouma is also aware Valour’s away goal makes the two leg tie finely balanced.

“They’re at home so it’s going to be hard to go there and get the result but I know we have the team to do it, so we just have to go there and play our football,” Kourouma said.

Mohamed Kourouma has been a constant threat from the left flank for the Wanderers this season. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.
Mohamed Kourouma has been a constant threat from the left flank for the Wanderers this season and now has two Canadian Championship goals. Photo: Trevor MacMillan.

Ottawa Fury, who play in the United Soccer League, await the winners in round three of the Canadian Championship, with the winner of that tie landing the big prize of drawing the reigning champions Toronto FC in the semi-finals of the competition.

The match at Valour kicks off Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. AST and you can stream the match live on One Soccer at this link.

Come on you Wanderers!