Rocket Robin Report: Sanjaxx Lions vs Oakville Blue Devils

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Result and details of the Sunday October 1, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Sanjaxx Lions and Oakville Blue Devils played at Monarch Park in Toronto at 2:00pm.

2 min…Sanjaxx RED card…Israel Perrin earns a direct ejection from referee Hassane Rifai for bashing into OBD goa66lie Matt George on the edge of OBD box as George was jumping for ball. George needs trainer for injury.

25 min…OBD Braden Culver GOAL…OBD Al James takes long throw-in from near left cornerflag and a defender on the left post jumps and flicks header into center of box. An OBD player takes an 8 yard shot that’s blocked and Culver shoots in 6 yard shot forward and low to right side of net.

68 min…OBD Hitesh Joshi wins Penalty kick when OBD Mikael Tyler McNamara keeps ball away from defender even with himself dragged down and taps ball to Joshi who was tripped up by another defender.

69 min…OBD Anthony Novak GOAL…Novak blasts Penalty kick to left side of net as goalie Nuno Goncalves crumples in middle of net.

73 min…OBD Stephen Ademolu GOAL…Ademolu receives centering pass and shoots 15 yarder into right corner of net beyond diving goalie.

84 min…OBD Filipe Vilela is tripped on the left side of the box. The referee was going to award a freekick but consulted with his assistant before ruling that Vilela was already in the box and changes it to a Penalty kick.

85 min…OBD Filipe Vilela slowly approaches to take Penalty kick before kicking ball and goalie was already diving left but on knees reached back and  caught ball chipped down the middle for save.

89 min…OBD Filipe Vilela GOAL…OBD Christian Kusiewicz low cross from right has Vilela stop at 10 yards in middle and boots low shot into right side of net.

Final Score: Sanjaxx Lions: 0   Oakville Blue Devils: 4

Attendance was about 35 on this mild afternoon with a bright sun in the south of this east-west facing field.

I expected Oakville would be a strong favourite because of the difference in the standings but had heard on Friday night of four players missing through suspensions or injuries and that may be an equalizer but going a man up at two minutes was obviously going to favour OBD. The problem with being up a man during the first half was that they were looking to make ‘one more pass’ to get a clear shot on net or some thunderous blast that was off target. Most of the OBD cornerkicks were short passes and run-ins rather than crosses into the box.

Missing OBD players (at least two had made the trip to sit in the stands) were Connor McNamara and Victor Gallo and Matt Santos. All would be starters on any given week. Stefan Nikolic was the best player on Sanjaxx who was missing.

Between OBD’s second and third goal (only four minutes apart) they had two more chances with a 15 yard shot off the bar and the Sanjaxx goalie making a dive to the rght post to smother the ball on shots by Anthony Novak and Filipe Vilela.

That third goal was set up by a change in call to a Penalty kick rather than a freekick by the referee’s assistant. That same official had taken away goals at 62 minutes by Novak from a shot from 12 yards and 65 by Vilela on an 8 yard header both flagged for offside. Novak hit a post at 39 minutes.

Referee Hassane Rifai gave out the Red and one Yellow to Sanjaxx and awarded OBD two Penalty kicks. This game had a lot of freekicks awarded and some injuries so wasn’t exactly tame although no other cards were given.

Matt George earned the shutout for Oakville. It wasn’t a case of whether Sanjaxx would ever win the game but whether he could preserve a shutout. Even at 94 minutes SJ Fabio Vilaca took a 20 yard shot down the middle and George flew to push it wide left of the post. The resulting cornerkick (the last play of the game) had SJ Jamal Sanca pop up a header and George caught it. The biggest gamble was the fact that OBD didn’t have a back up goalie today and George was flipped over at 2 minutes and if he hadn’t been able to continue (Sanjaxx Red card or not) OBD players would not have been so confident of having a field player play goalie and maybe not send as many guys forward.

Nuno Goncalves kept Sanjaxx in the game for the first hour with his goaltending although the daring defenders were able to clear a lot of potential shots with OBD overpassing for the perfect setup.

The loss keeps Sanjaxx in seventh place in the eight team Western Conference. Their record is now 4 wins, 14 losses, 3 ties for 15 points.

Oakville’s record improves to 18 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie for 55 points with one game to play. They are in first place in the West by 6 points over Sigma FC who have two games to play. OBD finish their schedule in a cross division game against Woodbridge Strikers that was cancelled July 16 by a lightning storm with WS holding a 1-0 lead in the first half. Strikers are tied with Vaughan Azzurri in the East but Vaughan have completed their schedule (one more win, three less ties) and Strikers have this OBD game to play and need a tie or better.

I’d heard that there was talk between the OBD and WS coach that if this game didn’t matter, both coaches would use an all U-21 lineup. The reasoning was that both these teams would be playing the championship game against each other and it doesn’t reveal all their cards with a different lineup. Looks like that won’t be happening as they both need a result.

I hadn’t planned on going to that game but may now and treat it as ‘my final’ as it looks like I’ll miss the L1O championship at Ontario Soccer Centre as the game will be on the same day as the MLS Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact match in downtown Toronto

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Robin Glover

Robin Glover

Robin has been writing about soccer in the Toronto area for message boards and his own website since the early 1990s in the days of 2400 baud modems to USENET sites. In the 2014 season he attended 76 games in various leagues that played in the GTA area. Follow Robin on Twitter and on his website

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