Aurora FC and OSUF (Ottawa South United Force) played at St Maximillion Kolbe High School in Aurora at 4:00pm.
7 min…OSUF Gabriel Bitar GOAL…OSUF Dario Conte cornerkick from right is low and Bitar one-touch shoots low 10 yarder from right into low left side of net.
43 min…Aurora FC Matthew Caguana GOAL…AFC Caguana receives pass threaded through middle and from 35 yards dribbles forward and shoots into the net past goalie Dylan Roisien.
47 min…OSUF Gabriel Bitar GOAL…OSUF Marco Natoli at 45 yards on left rolls ball forward and Bitar shoots 25 yard roller into right corner of net past diving goalie Alexander Jakma.
55 min…OSUF Walker Smith on run down left is pulled down inside box. Referee Jose Sanchez-Laros awards OSUF a Penalty kick.
56 min…OSUF Dario Conte GOAL…Conte blasts Penalty kick about 6 feet high to left side of net as goalie crumples to right.
Final Score:…Aurora FC.……1……..Ottawa South United Force…….3…….
Attendance was about 50 on this cold afternoon with a strong gusty wind from the north. Because I drove here, I could go back to my car and switch to my parka and touque which I hadn’t planned to wear until tonight’s game between Masters FA and Woodbridge.
Referee Jose Sanchez-Laros gave out three Yellow cards—all to Aurora players. Many offsides were called on both teams especially in the first half. Both teams became spooked by these calls and were each caught with a player passing the ball forward and teammates holding back from making runs and the ball rolling out of play. The referee took advantage of the hash marks for throw-ins like saying “take it at the 40” to stop players from cheating trying to get away with lining up ten yards downfield before putting the ball back into play.
This is the first League 1 Ontario game played by OSUF who are the only new men’s team added to the league this season. There are 16 teams again this year with the Ottawa team filling in the spot in the Eastern Conference vacated by Kingston Clippers, one of the original franchises who did not return to the league for a fourth season. Too bad as OSUF’s closest rivalry by geography would have been Kingston. Now the Toronto area teams and Ottawa have a five hour bus trip to play each other. OSUF will be back next week Saturday night to play Masters FA Saints who schedule their home games for 9:00pm kickoffs!
The quality of OSUF didn’t really shine through until the second half with the wind at their backs. Aurora only won four games out of twenty-two last year, their first season.
OSUF maxed their subs out at five (league maximum) four of them after they had the two goal lead giving more players a chance to say they played in the club’s first L1O game and a reward for the long bus ride. Aurora made four subs—two were needed for injuries in the second half.
This year Aurora moved from Sheppard’s Bush to a schoolyard only about a kilometer north of last year’s home. I asked a team official for the reason they switched homes. He said the facilities weren’t satisfactory. Both places had field turf although the new field is laced with football hash marks. The old place had dressing rooms which looked like they were just trailers towed in and dropped off. The public washroom was just another trailer. He said they had no showers. I’d say both fields had the same capacity with aluminum stands for about 600. The new place however has their stands running from about the 10 yard line in the south to the 40 yard line in the north rather than being half on each side of the 55 yard line.
I switched to the other side of the field from the stands at halftime as I was still waiting for the Aurora gamesheet and I could see a lot better from the sideline then the stands which were behind a running track that kept the stands 20 yards away from the sideline.
The choice of this field is just an interim solution because there are plans for the club to build their own facility another kilometer north of this field at The Aurora Family Complex on some currently unused land the official said. My eyes glazed over thinking of an 8000 pop-up Canadian Premier League stadium but they are just looking for a place for their L1O teams and all their youth teams.
Aurora FC will be back here next Saturday for a home game at 7:00pm against North Toronto Nitros.