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Wanderers hope to channel Can Champ spirit in York9 CPL clash

Coach Stephen Hart is hoping the Wanderers can continue the kind of all action, attacking style away at York9 on Saturday, that they showed in the Canadian Championship against Ottawa.

The final 2-2 score in Wednesday night’s third round second leg doesn’t tell the full story, after the Wanderers raced out to a two goal lead, during a first half in which they fired 13 shots at goal.

“I was proud of the players and I think the belief they got from this game will serve us well,” Hart said.

An overall 5-4 aggregate score win was just enough to get Ottawa past Hart’s squad, but the players are now keen to show the same form in the CPL’s fall season.

“We have to just keep pushing and enjoying what we are doing,” said striker Tomasz Skublak. “We spoke about our attitude on the pitch as players and instead of being tense we decided to go out there and have fun.”

Luis Perea makes the net bulge for the Wanderers second goal in Ottawa. Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography for Ottawa Fury FC.
Luis Perea makes the net bulge for the Wanderers second goal in Ottawa.
Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography for Ottawa Fury FC.

Skublak’s exceptional solo effort against the Fury— where he brought the ball down in the box, before beating a defender and then firing a left foot shot into the corner — will live long in the memory.

“I would rank it in the top five goals I’ve scored,” he said, adding he’s practiced shooting with his left foot a lot and it’s nice to be rewarded with a strike like that.

With Luis Alberto Perea also on the score sheet, Hart is feeling good about that strike partnership.

“Tomasz’s finish was fantastic and it was an interesting combination and they both scored, so it may be something we will try as the season continues,” he said.

The coach also liked another switch which saw Mohamed Kourouma move from his normal left side to the right, with Zachary Sukunda slotting in on the left.

“We had been thinking about trying it and it seemed to work for this match,” said Hart.

Chrisnovic N'sa attacking the ball from a corner in Ottawa, Wednesday. Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography for Ottawa Fury FC.
Chrisnovic N’sa attacking the ball from a corner in Ottawa, Wednesday.
Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography for Ottawa Fury FC.

Another big plus from the match against Ottawa was the display from Chrisnovic N’sa.

Deployed in midfield as opposed to in the defence, Hart was impressed with N’sa’s pace, drive and desire in the middle of the park.

“You run a lot more in midfield than you do at centre back but I like to run and be involved in the play,” smiled N’sa, who said the team’s performance gave the players a big morale boost.

 “I think it was the mentality, we all really wanted to show we can compete and we showed we can score away from home and we created a lot of other chances to score more goals,” N’sa said.

Chrisnovic N'sa points to the sky to celebrate a Wanderers goal in Ottawa. Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography for Ottawa Fury FC.
Chrisnovic N’sa points to the sky to celebrate a Wanderers goal in Ottawa.
Photo: Steve Kingsman/Freestyle Photography for Ottawa Fury FC.

York9 are also back in action after running a Major League Soccer team close in the Canadian Championship.

Jimmy Brennan’s team were eliminated by Montreal Impact after being narrowly beaten 3-2 on aggregate, following a 1-0 defeat at Stade Saputo, in a competitive effort that did not surprise Hart.

“York9 are on a roll and I always knew they had the potential to be a good team because they have so many dynamic attacking players,” Hart said.

The Wanderers can move onto the same number of points as York9, who are in third place in the CPL fall standings, with a win on Saturday.

The match kicks off at York Lions Stadium at 4:30 p.m. AST and you can watch the game live at One Soccer.

Our pub partners, Athens, Auction House, Durty Nelly’s, Freemans (Downtown, Quinpool, Fairview, Sackville), Hali-Mac Axe Throwing, Niche Lounge and The Pint, will also be streaming the match.

Come on you Wanderers!