On a bleak rainy day in North Vancouver, Wanderers faced Blackhawks FC for the first time in the season. Blackhawks were eager to get points on the board following a disappointing first 2 losses, whereas Wanderers sought to follow up their win against LG Guardians with another top performance.
The stage was set, and the first half saw the Blackhawks on the front foot, as they kept knocking on the door and asking all the questions from the Wanderers' defense. Although their efforts came to no avail, as Wanderers put in a brilliant defensive performance in order to shut out the opposition in the first half.
Despite the top defensive performance, Wanderers struggled to create chances in the first 45', as they finished the half without a single shot. On top of this, Reza, the key CDM player of the team, had to limp off with an injury in the first half an hour, which could be cause for concern for Wanderers going forward.
The half time team talk from coach Farhang however, lifted the spirits and saw a much more positive performance from Wanderers in the 2nd half. Early on in the 52nd minute, Lucca found himself one on one with the opposition keeper, where his strike although accurate, unfortunately lacked the required power to beat the goalkeeper.
In the 60th minute, yet another unfortunate injury for the Wanderers, this time for the star CB, Igor Vuckovic. Following a hard collision with an opponent, Igor had to be withdrawn with a knee injury, which could prove to be further cause for concern for the rest of the season.
In the 70th minute, Blackhawks had the chance to open the scoring, as their striker found himself through one on one against the Wanderers keeper. Danyal however was quick to rush and make himself as big as possible, and as a result, pulled off a wonderful save to keep the game at nil nil.
Less than 10 minutes later, Blackhawks were though on goal once again, but Danyal stepped up to the plate once more in order to further preserve the draw.
Blackhawks received 2 yellow cards in the final 30 minutes due to their constant dissent towards the referee, particularly when it came to offside calls or attacker's fouls.
In the 87th minute, a scramble in the Wanderers box allowed Blackhawks the opportunity to put away a late winner, although the ball hit the post and was cleared to safety.
Only moments later, there was a penalty shout as a Blackhawks attacker went down to the ground following a contact with Sepehr Heydarian. The ref was quick to wave away the claims as he believed the Blackhaws player went down too easily; that said, the situation was definitely not cut and dry, and on another day with another referee, the late penalty may have been given.
Shortly afterwards, the ref blew his whistle as the two teams shared the points with a goal-less draw, a result that Wanderers may have been happier with compared to their opponents following the crazy turn of events in the last 5 minutes of the game.
This was the first clean sheet of the season for Wanderers, and due to his two amazing one on one saves, on top of his solid performance overall, the Wanderers' goalie, Danyal Yasini, was named man of the match.
Now with 4 points on the board, Wanderers face Seymour FC next on the 29th, as they aim to keep the points coming their way.
Upwards and onwards, Wanderers!