Result and details of the Saturday October 15, 2016 League 1 Ontario game between Vaughan Azzurri and FC London played at The Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 4:00pm. This was considered the League 1 Ontario Championship Final game.
9 min…VA Adrian Butters GOAL…VA Joseph Di Chiara takes 22 yard freekick from left that has Butters on right post leap for to head in 3 yarder to short side and ball bounces down and into net between post and goalie Anthony Sokalski.
12 min…VA Daniel Gogarty GOAL…VA Joseph Di Chiara takes 22 yard freekick from left end line and VA Mario Kovacevi
squeezed near left post and ball deflects off him away and Gogarty in middle shoots low 7 yarder between crowd of players low to right corner of net.
46 min (first half)…VA RED card…Jashua Mills earns it from referee Armando Pereira. FCL Randy Ribeiro 30 yard freekick from left has FCL Elvir Gigolaj pop header up from 12 yards and ball lands wide right of net. A dust-up takes place near where the freekick was taken. Jashua Mills in the crowd of players gets in a head butt on an FCL player. [I confirmed after the game with fourth official Hassane Rifai and the referee]. VA head coach comes on the field to argue the call but since the half had ended he wasn’t ejected.
51 min…VA Mario Kovacevic GOAL…VA Joseph Di Chiara cornerkick from left has Kovacevic flick header from 8 yards on left that bounces at 2 yards across into right corner of net with goalie guarding left post.
67 min…VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL…VA Joseph Di Chiara receives throw-in near center line and turns to get by defender and runs to 35 yard line on left and rolls pass that a VA player lets get by him and charging Whiteman at 25 yards on left cuts into box and shoots 15 yarder under sliding goalie at 7 yards into center of net.
70 min…FCL Mohammad Reza Nafar GOAL…Reza Nafar gets rolled backheel pass at 18 yards between VA defenders and his low 15 yard shot from right is into left corner of net under goalie Colm Vance diving at 6 yards.
80 min…FCL Elvir Gigolaj GOAL…FCL goalie punts ball upfield from own box after defenders backpass which broke up a 3 on 1 VA rush and FCL Parker Seymour pokes pass forward at FCL 45 yard line just before a late sliding tackle knocked him over. An FCL player at VA 45 yard line on right taps pass over for another FCL player who centers ball for charging Gigolaj at 22 yards and his 18 yard shot down middle is under charging goalie who ran forward to 15 yards and ball pops up and Gigolaj follows up with 8 yard shot into right side of open net.
Final Score:…..Vaughan Azzurri…….4………FC London……..2……….
Attendance eventually climbed to about 700 on this surprisingly mild and sunny mid October afternoon. Toronto FC II which uses this facility as their home ground would probably have counted this crowd as 1000.
Referee Armando Pereira gave out four Yellow cards (two to each team) that I counted along with the Red to Vaughan in a game that was mostly wide open. The checking wasn’t particularly close and nothing close to what would warrant a Penalty kick.
MVP of the game (the prize was a gift certificate) was awarded to VA Joseph Di Chiara who I say assisted on every VA goal. The league doesn’t track assists on their website so I compliment them making an outside the box choice. The two early freekick plays put Vaughan off to a perfect start and the second half cornerkick was crucial in knocking out FCL momentum of their man-up situation.
FCL spent too much time passing the ball around in their own backfield in the second half until it was too late and then on some desperate attempts later they were called offside. Vaughan forwards were still shredding FCL defenders even down a man on 2 vs 7 rushes. It would sometimes take the fourth defender to check them off the ball. Vaughan got burned on the final goal by having three men upfield and FCL countered for their goal at 80 minutes.
The VA backline of Jarred Phillips, Daniel Gogarty, Adrian Butters, and captain Joseph Amato shut down all FCL attempts in the first half making the opponents try low percentage long range efforts
Best non-scoring chances were at 16 minutes when VA Jarred Phillips ran downfield and his 20 yard shot from the far right had the goalie palm the ball from just under the bar wide left of the post. 19 minutes had VA Joseph Di Chiara intercept a ball at 30 yards, run forward to the edge of the box and cross low to a streaking VA Jarek Whiteman who shot a low 12 yarder that the goalie dove left to push out of the 6 yard box. 34 minutes had FCL Max Marsh cross from 18 yards on the left over to FCL Elvir Gigolaj who charged in to kick 5 yarder well over the net. 41 minutes had VA Phillips cross from 30 yards on the far right and VA Mario Kovacevic scissor kicked at 8 yards on the left that just missed the top left corner. 51 minutes had VA Whiteman make a long run down the left cutting to the middle and his low 12 yard shot was saved point blank by the sprawling goalie and deflected for cornerkick. 58 minutes had the VA goalie run out to 15 yards to beat a FCL Gigolaj to FCL Mohammed Rez-Nafar through ball pass attempt from 25 yards. 65 minutes had FCL Petar Karan shot an 8 yarder down the middle wide right of the post after receiving a through ball pass. Injury time had FCL Gigolaj roll a cross from 12 yards and the ball deflected off VA Joseph Amato and the goalie then dove forward to smother.
FCL players were presented with silver medals followed by VA receiving gold medals then the league championship trophy. The team name was already welded or stickered onto the wood base but I’m sure an FCL tag had been prepared as well. The team then posed in front of a league banner then in the north end net. Jushua Mills had returned to the field to be presented with his medal along with his fellow midfielder brothers Brandon and Jason and their father Wayne who is a team official.
I’d attended L1O league games this season plus the Cup final. That included three games of FC London visits to the GTA and only three Vaughan games (their Sunday afternoon home games started too early for my work schedule) plus their 1-0 Cup Final win against Woodbridge back at the end of July.
I saw FCL beat league punching bags Aurora United 4-3 while playing a man up back in July and lose to North Mississauga 4-2 at the end of August while playing up a man from the 12 minute mark which I wrote at the time–and still consider my ‘game of the year’. Vaughan I didn’t see lose but that wasn’t a surprise as they’d only lost once this entire season.
I asked Azzurri head coach Carmine Isacco after the game if any of today’s lineup would be in the York University tomorrow and he answered “Maybe one”. They play a home game against Brock Badgers at 3:15pm.
The result now sets up the league’s next series—The Interprovincial Cup against the league champions of Quebec which for the second year in a row are CS Mont-Royal Outremont. Last year Oakville Blue Devils won 5-3 on aggregate. The games will be held Saturday November 5 in Quebec and the return leg on Saturday November 12. L1O chair Dino Rossi said they’d rent two venues—Ontario Soccer Centre in case the weather is good, and Pickering Soccer Centre if the game needs to be played indoors because of poor weather.