HFX Wanderers’ Akeem Garcia scored the opening goal with a well-placed penalty during a 2-0 win over Guelph United in the Preliminary Round of the 2022 Canadian Championship.

HFX Wanderers FC took a step closer to the Voyageurs’ Cup on Tuesday, booking their ticket to the Canadian Championship quarter-finals win over League1 Ontario outfit Guelph United.

Trinidadian striker Garcia got the CPL team on the board first with a penalty kick just over 20 minutes in, and Aidan Daniels doubled their lead at the hour mark with a screamer from outside the box to cap off a deceptive set-piece routine.

Although Guelph defended well and managed to get the ball up-field a few times, they ultimately couldn’t quite find the breakthrough they wanted. The Wanderers, therefore, will move on to the last eight, where they will take on MLS outfit Toronto FC.

The driving force behind the CPL side’s possession dominance on Tuesday was the way they commanded the centre of the park. With the trio of the captain, Trinidadian Andre Rampersad, Aidan Daniels, and Pierre Lamothe all playing primarily in the central channels, they were able to utterly dominate that part of the pitch and break up almost all of Guelph’s attempts to play directly through the middle.

All three players were in the double figures for duels as they each looked to step up on players trying vainly to dribble into midfield. Halifax seemed to establish a pattern of Rampersad winning the ball (he did so ten times) and pushing it toward Daniels or Lamothe, both of whom would drive forward before trying to feed it to wingers Sam Salter or Cory Bent.

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