Halifax, Nova Scotia - Jul 11, 2023: Canadian Premier League match between the HFX Wanderers FC and Pacific FC at the Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Trevor MacMillan/HFX Wanderers FC)

It seems as though Pacific FC can’t experience a “normal” trip to Halifax. Whether it’s weather, red cards, or any other kind of out-of-the-ordinary occurrence, this cross-country trip is never without some sort of drama. Last time out, just last month, a storm hit the East Coast and delayed kickoff before the match was eventually played in a cloud of fog and rain.

Now, fingers are crossed for a smooth visit this time around. Pacific is coming off a big 3-0 victory over Valour FC last weekend – a win that broke a five game unbeaten run and moved the Tridents back to the top of the table at the end of the matchweek. On the home side, Halifax is back on the East Coast after an excellent 2-0 victory away to York United FC last weekend moved them up to fourth – just two points back of third heading into this matchweek.

The Wanderers have a top-class home record this season, having won five straight and currently holding the joint-best home record in the league, but Pacific is now back to full confidence after last weekend’s performance. So it looks like it’ll come down to whichever squad has more drive to grab all three points in this crucial matchup to wrap up the CPL weekend as well as the long weekend in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.


After Halifax’s 2-1 win over the Tridents in July, the all-time head to head is about as even as you can get through 16 matches. Six wins for Pacific, five wins for Halifax, and five draws point to an incredibly evenly-split matchup over the years.

As mentioned before, there’s always something that happens when this fixture is played in Halifax. With two weather delays in the last three matches on the East Coast, plus three red cards for the visiting Tridents, 90 minutes can’t go by without drama when this fixture takes place at the Wanderers Grounds. What might happen this time around is anyone’s guess.

Keys to Victory

First things first, cut off the supply to Lorenzo Callegari and don’t allow him any time with the ball to make progressive passes. The Wanderers are at their most dangerous when playing out through their midfield metronome, especially when he’s able to switch the ball to the opposite flank where one of the wingers or wide-midfielders has acres of space to attack into. We saw this happen plenty during Halifax’s win over York last weekend, with Zachary Fernandez, Callum Watson, and Massimo Ferrin the main beneficiaries of the space out wide.

Where Pacific can catch the Wanderers out is in transition/breaking their press. Under Patrice Gheisar, Halifax is an excellent pressing team who can overwhelm the opposition and win the ball high up the pitch. However, on the occasions when that press is broken and their midfield/defenders have to start backtracking, they are more loose with their shape and able to be exploited. James Merriman’s side loves to move the ball with pace and trusts everyone in possession, so if there’s that connectivity from the centre-backs to the midfielders and forward line that we’ve seen in many matches this season, the Tridents can be successful against the Wanderers on Monday.

Match Facts to Know

  • This match will be Amer Didic’s 100th appearance for a Canadian Premier League club, 52 of which will have come with Pacific FC.
  • The first Monday in August is Natal Day in Nova Scotia, just like BC Day in British Columbia. So while a mid-day Monday kickoff is very unusual, on this occasion it wraps up the long weekend for supporters of both clubs in a nice way.
  • Both matches between Pacific FC and HFX Wanderers FC in Halifax this season have taken place on the weekday. The first meeting was a Tuesday in July and the second is a Monday in August. Even the second fixture on the East Coast last season was played on a Tuesday.