Match Preview – Pacific FC v HFX Wanderers FC: Playoff and title race heats up as Tridents celebrate Fan Appreciation Night

Pacific FC come into Friday night’s match against HFX Wanderers FC off the back of a huge home win last weekend. The Tridents now find themselves carrying good momentum at a crucial stage of the season. This match against the visiting Wanderers is another chance to grab a win in front of the home fans, but it won’t come easy against a fellow playoff and title hopefuls.

With just two regular season matches left at home (including this one), and the team still looking to win the regular season Canadian Premier League title, this is the perfect time to kick into gear and make a final push across the finish line. Having said that, you don’t want to peak too early or too late in a season-long race, and there’s also the CPL Playoffs to consider later on. All told though, three points against Halifax would show this Pacific team is back doing what they do best: winning.

And what better occasion to do just that than on Fan Appreciation Night presented by CIBC. PFC supporters have shown countless times how their passion can spur the team onto victory, and how much they bring to the club in general. So to show their thanks, the club has LOTS of fun in store for all those in attendance on Friday night.


The Tridents have a slight advantage in the all-time head to head over Halifax, and come into this match having grabbed a result on the East Coast the last time these two met. That 2-1 win for Pacific in August means the season series is split with one win a piece and one draw during the 2023 campaign, making this a rubber match as well as a crucial moment in the playoff race.

This is also the third straight match between Pacific and Halifax to take place on a weekday, with the two other most recent games coming on a Monday and Tuesday.

All-time, Pacific has seven wins to Halifax’s five in 19 meetings, with the other five ending in draws.


“The group has a good personality and a great energy about them. We can still do everything we set out to do at the beginning of the season.” — Pacific FC head coach James Merriman

Keys to Victory

Out of possession against Halifax, it’s key to lock down the midfield metronome Lorenzo Callegari. One of the best ball retention midfielders in the CPL, Callegari’s addition to the Wanderers has been immeasurable this season. He’s able to keep things tidy and maintain possession, but is also capable of spraying the ball across the pitch with equal precision. With that in mind, Pacific will have to track Halifax’s wide players off the ball. The Wanderers are very adept in transition and use their wingers and full-back Zachary Fernandez to manipulate the wide areas in that phase of the game.

On the other side of the ball, Pacific looked very good in possession against Valour FC last match. We saw how fluidly Josh Heard and Adonijah Reid worked together up front to create space for each other in the right inside channel. Watch for those two to combine again to target that area of the pitch, and for the left-sided attack to attack the space left behind by the forward-thinking Fernandez. Along with that, the Tridents will look to show their aerial dominance against Halifax on attacking set pieces.

One more thing to keep an eye on is the new in-possession shape Pacific showed last time out. It was a very deliberate three at the back shape when they built up from the back, with Paul Amedume nominally deployed as a left-back but more often than not playing in a left-sided centre-back role when Kunle Dada-Luke pushed forward.

Match Facts to Know

  • As part of Fan Appreciation Night presented by CIBC, there will be many fun initiatives for fans to take part in on Friday night. Upon entry, the first 2,000 fans will receive a pack of PFC Trading Cards, and once inside the building, fans will be able to take advantage of 25% off merch as well as special PFC-branded scarves. Most mysteriously, attendees will also be present for the first-ever Pacific FC “Minute of Madness”.
  • Both Island-born players on the Pacific FC roster are closing in on hitting a round number in a statistical category for the club. With an appearance on Friday, Sean Young will reach 90 appearances for Pacific – extending his club record, and with a goal in the match, Josh Heard will reach 20 goals for the club – five behind Terran Campbell for second-most in club history.
  • Along with Cavalry FC, both Pacific FC and HFX Wanderers FC have conceded the lowest number of goals in the Canadian Premier League this season with 24.

Watch Pacific FC’s match against HFX Wanderers FC using one of our many ticket options, which can be found here!