Nothing good happens in Langley—at least, that is, if you’re the Halifax Wanderers. Twice in 2023, the Canadian Premier League soccer club has made the trip west to British Columbia’s Fraser Valley and left empty-handed, despite holding the better record. On Saturday, Sept. 23, the Wanderers seemed to be well in control of the game against their BC opponents, holding a 1-0 lead into the 69th minute and looking dangerous—until a pair of Vancouver FC goals turned the Wanderers’ lead into a gut-punch of a loss.
“To be honest, we didn’t respect the game plan, and it cost [us] the game,” Wanderers fullback Zach Fernandez told AFTN’s Michael McColl after the match. “[We can’t] just take one goal and then sit back. We need to take one goal, and then put another one, and another one, and put [in] five if we need to.”
Eight times in 2023, the Wanderers have given up a lead and failed to reclaim it. That alone has cost the Halifax club 18 points—and crucial cushioning in the CPL’s playoff race.
In this week’s Wanderer Grounds episode, Coast reporters Matt Stickland and Martin Bauman dissect what went wrong for Halifax in Langley and what it’ll take for the Wanderers to hit their stride going into the playoffs—if they manage to qualify.