Akeem Garcia and an HFX Wanderers teammate celebrate his goal against Atlético Ottawa. (Courtesy: CPL/Chant Photography)

The lone Maritime team in the Canadian Premier League is moving on the next round of the CPL Island Games, being played in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The Wanderers punched their ticket to the Island Games group stage with a 2-0 win over Atlético Ottawa on Sunday afternoon.

Wanderers striker Akeem Garcia put the team ahead in the 14th minute, scoring his league-leading fourth goal of the Island Games, taking a cross from midfielder Alex Marshall and firing a shot past Atlético Ottawa goalkeeper Nacho Zabal.

Alessandro Riggi added insurance in the 59th minute, capitalizing on a Atlético Ottawa turnover by chipping the ball past Zabal for his first goal with the Wanderers.

Halifax native Christian Oxner made five saves for his second straight clean sheet.

“I think the performances we put in early in the tournament, we knew if we kept playing the same way, we would get a few bounces from the soccer Gods. I think we got those the past few games,” said Oxner in a post game media conference.

With the win, the Wanderers improved their record to three wins, three draws and one loss, and improved to second place in the league standings. 

While only 50 fans are permitted to watch the games at the University of Prince Edward Island field, many Wanderers fans attended viewing parties in Halifax.

"I definitely miss the Wanderers Grounds and being there supporting the team, but its nice to come together, as much as we can in a global pandemic, and just cheer them on," says Wanderers fan Felix Hoppe. "I hope in the next three games, they get a couple wins and finish top two, and we can support them in the final, but it's been an awesome season so far.” 

“We were really hoping for the win, and for them to get two goals was amazing“, added Wanderers fan Beth Wilson. “Chris Oxner was just awesome, he’s a fabulous goalkeeper and I’m just so glad we’ve got him!”

After this weekend’s games, half of the teams will be headed home, as the top four team move on to the league’s group stage.

The CPL Championship Final will be played on September 19.