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It was a day of firsts for the HFX Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.
The Halifax-based professional soccer membership opened the 2023 Canadian Premier League season in opposition to host Atletico Ottawa, in head coach Patrice Gheisar’s debut and 10 gamers who noticed motion of their first look in a Wanderers jersey.
The top end result: a 1-1 draw with the 2022 regular-season champions and league finalist below sunny skies and temperatures which reached the mid-20s C.
— Canadian Premier League (@CPLsoccer) April 15, 2023
“In an ideal world you need to get the win,” mentioned Gheisar, who changed Stephen Hart, the Wanderers’ inaugural head coach, within the low season. “It will’ve been an ideal begin however given the warmth, being our first sport and the nerves, I used to be ecstatic with our constructive begin. We got here into this sport making an attempt to be our greatest model, maintain the ball, creating quite a few possibilities and stopping the counter assault. We’ll take it and simply get higher day by day.”
Wanderers midfielder Zachary Fernandez scored the primary objective of the season when he discovered the again of the online within the sixteenth minute.
Lorenzo Callegari, the previous Paris Saint-Germain midfielder who was making his CPL debut, stole the ball from former Wanderers striker Samuel Salter and sparked a fast counter-attack. Callegari discovered Aidan Daniels, who then laid the ball off to Fernandez. The 21-year-old fired a shot into the underside left nook previous a diving Nathan Ingham, the Ottawa keeper.
Callegari, one among many low season additions for the revamped Wanderers. led all gamers in touches (127), cross completions (99) and remaining third passes (30).
“I believed Lorenzo was incredible,” Gheisar mentioned. “I don’t assume he misplaced the ball. His pedigree from the place he got here from clearly exhibits and he’s solely going to get higher. He did the work and actually took care of the ball. He’s a man who makes us click on, flip the wheels and makes everybody round him higher.”
The Wanderers had been mere seconds from taking a lead into halftime. However reigning CPL participant of the yr Ollie Bassett redirected a Jean-Aniel Assi cross in additional time to shut out the primary half.
“That one damage. For positive, it damage,” Gheisar mentioned of Ottawa’s tying marker. “I feel there have been 5 seconds left. That comes all the way down to having higher sport administration and getting extra expertise. If you quit a objective within the forty sixth minute and also you’re a younger group, you’re going to have a tough time forgetting about it. I’d’ve cherished if we simply mentioned it is over, overlook about and let’s go win this half.
“However credit score to Ottawa, they got here at us for the previous 10 minutes and a kind of possibilities might’ve became extra. We’ll be taught and ensure we’re a little bit bit sharper to complete every half transferring ahead.”
The Wanderers and Atletico Ottawa will meet once more on Wednesday in a Canadian Championship preliminary-round match at York Lions Stadium in Toronto.
Gheisar provided a snippet of his sport plan throughout a post-match new convention.
“Not to surrender a objective within the forty sixth minute,” he mentioned.
“We have to keep in charge of the sport. I believed we had some nice spells, nice sequences. We’ll attempt to be extra in keeping with the ball.”