Rocket Robin Report: League1 Ontario Week 16 Match Reports

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Result and details of the Friday August 18, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Durham United FA and Vaughan Azzurri played at Kinsmen Park in Pickering at 8:00pm.

9 min…DUFA Jumbo Iyowuna GOAL…DUFA Joseph Roccasalva turns back on right sideline near cornerflag and crosses into box.  Iyowuna nods free header from 8 yards to low left side of net past diving goalie Michael Argyndes.

DUFA La Rohne Young (9) heads ball. Photo by Robin Glover.
DUFA La Rohne Young (9) heads ball. Photo by Robin Glover.

39 min…VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL…VA Jackson Tooke intercepts pass at DUFA 30 yard line and rolls ball to right for Whiteman to shoot 25 yarder from right into top left corner over goalie Ben Cowman.

54 min…DUFA (VA Joseph Amato own goal) GOAL…DUFA Taylor Lord cross from 15 yards on left has Amato take midair 5 yard clearance kick on right side but he sends it into own net.

57 min…VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL…VA Joseph Amato sends high clearance kick from 80 yards on left upfield and Whiteman gets pass at 35 yards on left and runs between two defenders and rolls 18 yarder that goalie dives to left but only gets piece of and rolls into left corner.

59 min…VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL…VA Joseph Di Chiara rolls pass from left at 22 yards and Whiteman blasts 10 yarder in middle to top center of net. The DUFA bench was complaining about why the VAs got away a quick freekick from well downfield.

84 min…VA Jorgo Nika GOAL…VA Brandon Mills short pass from 30 yards to left for Nika to shoot 18 yarder from left into top right side of net.

Final Score:…..Durham United FA……2…..Vaughan Azzurri….4…

Attendance was about 55 on this mild night with the sun already setting below the tree line at the start of the game.

Lukasz Kowalewski gave out three Yellow cards that I counted. (two against DUFA). He wasn’t too popular from each team bench but he had control of this game.

Jarek Whiteman scored three goals again last night for Vaughan. This is the second game within a week that he’s done that as he had all the goals in their 3-0 win against Sanjaxx on Sunday. He now has 20 goals for the season and pulls further ahead of FC London’s Elvir Gigolaj with 13.

Michael Argyrides made his first start in goal for Vaughan. He is listed as a 1999.  He gave up some rebounds but the defenders gave him time to smother them and he was more inclined to palm or tip the ball than make a risky catch attempt.  The more ‘experienced’ goalie until tonight was Shyon Gaeeni who had his first game last week shutting out Sanjaxx. He is also a 1999. They seemed to have taken over from Colm Vance, Andrew D’Souza and Daniel Goscniak who had played all games until then. Vance I believe is still with York University so that may account for his absence.

Another Vaughan player born in 1999 is Ryan Raposo who was recently named Top Soccer Player at the Canada Games on the gold medal winning Team Ontario.

This was the first game of the season for midfielder Jonathan Lao who came in at 80 minutes to replace Whiteman. Lao told me he had recovered by torn patellas in both knees sustained in November.

I hadn’t noticed ex TFC midfield player Chris Mannella on the Vaughan roster in the last few league line-scores. I asked club official Tony De Palma and he answered that they know he’s trying out for some clubs in Spain. There’s some fan run mock drafts for the new CanPrem League that had him being selected early but if that league doesn’t start until maybe 2019, a guy has to make a living so I can understand why he’s over there trying to catch on for a club.

This was the first match of the season held at Kinsmen Park in Pickering. An L1O official before the game described to me how the grass had been cut too short and there were track tire marks sunken into the field on the north side making the grounds unplayable. As the GTA had rain every day or by every third day for months, the ground would never even out. I enjoyed watching DUFA games at the alternate indoor Pickering Soccer Centre especially on nights when it rained, but the official said at the last game it got so hot and humid in there his note paper stuck together.

Tonight the steady breeze at Kinsmen kept the bug count down and I didn’t have to use much spray. I also remembered from last year to take as many pictures as I could in the first half because the stadium lighting isn’t so good once it’s dark.

League 1 Ontario has now switched back to games within their own conference for the last third of the season except for a few that were postponed.

The loss leaves DUFA in fourth place with a record of 7 wins, 6 losses, 3 ties for 24 points in the eight team Eastern conference.

The win improves Vaughan’s record to 10 wins, 2 losses, 3 ties for 33 points and second place in the East only two points behind Woodbridge Strikers  who have not played this weekend.

DUFA and Vaughan had played to a 0-0 result on the opening weekend. DUFA was selling this as a revenge game for the L1O Cup where Vaughan knocked them out in the second round in Penalty kicks.

Result and details of the Saturday August 19, 2017 League1 Ontario game between North Mississauga Panthers and ProStars FC held at the Hershey Centre Fields in Mississauga at 8:30pm.

North Mississauga Panthers Doryan Botelho (10) lines up to take freekick. Photo by Robin Glover.
North Mississauga Panthers Doryan Botelho (10) lines up to take freekick. Photo by Robin Glover.

57 min…NMP Anthony Wright GOAL…NMP Evan Beutler cornerkick from right is over box but NMP Nicholas Martinez blasts 22 yarder from left that goalie Jonathan Albanese stops but Wright shoots in rebound from 8 yards to right side of goal.

86 min…NMP Andi Mortina GOAL…NMP Nicholas Martinez at 28 yards is pushed by defender to lose ball. Mortina gets to ball and spins to get away 25 yarder from left to top right corner of net.

Final Score:…North Mississauga Panthers…2…Pro Stars FC…0…

Attendance was about 100 on this mild night although windbreakers were worn by almost everyone as it was almost dark by game time and the temperature was dropping.

Referee Braedon Krampert gave out only two Yellow cards (one to each team) that I counted, both in the first half to keep things under control. He was near the sideline at 30 minutes when he gave one to PS Noah Costa–“that’s the third time” he said as if he was counting his high kicks. Well at least he gave him warnings until then.

North Miss dominated this game in terms of possession and shots at goal. Jonathan Albanese was in net for ProStars and still wearing a mask to protect his broken nose but was daring enough to make diving saves and take on any shot. It looked inevitable that North Miss would eventually score but finally getting one in at two thirds mark and not being able to get an insurance marker until near the end meant a tie was always a possibility.

Adam Majer earned the shutout for North Miss. He had all but a few routine saves to make and covering the angles well made it look even easier.

ProStars were always one pass away from springing a break or getting a clear shot. Even the parents were shouting things like “stop dithering in the back” when times got desperate. Panthers defensive line of Daniel Whyte, Anthony Wright, captain Gareth Davies, and Dale Cudmore frustrated ProStars with their blocks and takeaways.

ProStars use a young lineup. Tonight they had seven teenagers starting. Their subs bench was composed of mostly even younger teenagers. They have scored a league low of 11 goals in 15 league games this year.

ProStars have moved three of their older players on to Europe. Adel Rahman (22) and his brother Navid Rahman (21) have both signed for KFC Komarno of the Slovakian Second Division and Uday Arora (21) has signed for Leixoes FC of the Portuguese Second Division and that’s just this month alone.

Black numbers on red shirts don’t show up to well crossfield in the dark so I had to use my binoculars a lot to see what North Miss were doing.

The start of the game was delayed by 15 minutes and almost lucky it was played at all. The game officials found a ripped part of the field turf in the north end 6 yard box. There was talk of moving the game to the next field over which wasn’t being used at that time of night but the DJ would have to stay where he was as he said there weren’t electrical plugs for his equipment. Finally a maintenance guy brought over some yellow coloured duct tape to patch the turf back down and get the game started. It didn’t look like the patch had any effect on the game. All the delays meant that they skipped the national anthems but it was nice to hear the goals and subs read out clearly.

It was my first time this season watching a Panthers home game although the fifth time I’ve seen them this year. I have been to the Hershey fields twice before but that was to watch Sigma FC home games who play here too. In fact the Sigma game vs Toronto FC III was supposed to be played at 4:00pm but it was postponed three days ago (doubtful they would have known about the hole).  I asked a league official and she said it was at TFC’s request as they were in a tournament. Yes they are in a U-17 tourney with Vaughan, Woodbridge, and Juventus (Italy) Italy this weekend. TFC III usually has an older than age 16 lineup this season but that may be the reason.

The win moves North Mississauga Panthers to a record of 5 wins, 8 losses, 2 ties for 17 points and fifth place in the Western Conference.

ProStars record falls to 0 wins, 14 losses, 1 tie for 1 point and last in the eight team West. They are now the only team that hasn’t won this year after Toronto Skillz won on Sunday. ProStars and Skillz were supposed to play on Thursday night in Brampton but the game was canceled by ‘The Garden City’ for wet grounds for the second time in three weeks…Thursday it had really rained a lot during the day and evening.

Result and details of the Sunday August 20, 2017 League1 Ontario game between North Toronto Nitros and Toronto Skillz FC played at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York at 7:00pm.

NTN defender Jason Akoa brings ball out of own end. Photo by Robin Glover.
NTN defender Jason Akoa brings ball out of own end. Photo by Robin Glover.

6 min…NTN Kinlay Shulman GOAL…NTN Nikolay Saveliev rushes down left side and low cross from 20 yards along 6 yard line has charging Shulman blast 6 yard shot forward into middle of net.

19 min…TS Julio Martorano tackles NTN Niklas Bauer who was running into left side of box. Referee Joan Vlahos awards NTN a Penalty kick and gives Martorano a Yellow card.

20 min…NTN Niklas Bauer GOAL…Bauer rolls Penalty kick to right side of net as goalie Lucas Birnstingl dives left.

29 min…TS Liam Cox wins Penalty kick on sliding tackle on left side of box.

30 min…TS Leslie Fitzpatrick GOAL…Fitzpatrick blasts Penalty kick roller to right corner of net as goalie Stefan Dusciuc is frozen in middle of goal.

50 min…NTN Niklas Bauer GOAL…NTN Kevin DaSilva on left passes low centering ball to Bauer who from 12 yards controls ball and shoots low 12 yarder into right corner of net.

51 min…TS RED card…Goalie Lukas Birnstingl earns it as the last man back for grabbing shoulder of Kevin DaSilva who was deking by him on edge of box. Tim Van Gelderen came in to play goalie and subbed for field player Julio Matorano.

Final Score:…North Toronto Nitros….3…Toronto Skillz FC..1…

Attendance was about 50 on this hot and humid evening with the bright sun setting in the north west. Nitros faced the east in the first half. The section I was in had a loud section of Skillz parents—even louder than I remember last week at their home game against Windsor.

This is the first time this season I’ve been to Esther Shiner Stadium*. I’ve been to two Nitros home games at Varsity Stadium in downtown Toronto but now that the University of Toronto school season has started the team is bumped (like last year) to whatever field they can get. Early L1O schedule posting had their late season games at Downsview Park (not on the KIA Training Grounds property) but a move here is even closer to my home.

Referee John Vlahos gave out one Yellow card to each team, gave a Penalty kick to each team and gave a Red to the Skillz goalie but the teams were both well disciplined.

Nitros found early success running down the left side and after their early goal exploited that continuously the rest of the half.

Nitros played very well defensively. They limited the number of shots that Skillz took with timely blocks and swarming offensive players. The one opening was on the play that resulted in the Skillz penalty kick. Defender Jason Akoa had been injured and had left the field. Nitros weren’t expecting a sub so soon and had nobody warming up. It took about 8 minutes to replace him. In his absence, Skillz ran a play up the left side and the understrength defenders pulled a player down. Next best chance was just before the half when Neil Brown had a 7 yard shot stopped point blank by the sliding Nitros goalie who recovered quickly and punted to start a fast break upfield.

Niklas Bauer scored two tonight and three last weekend (one in each game on a Penalty kick) to zoom up to 5 goals in only four games this season (all within the last month).  Leading scorers on Nitros are Mirza Custovic with 7 goals and Kyle Laborde-Agres with 6 goals but neither have played since June.  Bauer took delight in some great runs up the middle bashing by three defenders and then being stopped or blocked by the fourth.

Both teams had some chances in the second half. 59 minutes had Nitros Nkolay Savaliev blast a 33 yarder between players off the bar. 65 minutes had Skillz Neil Brown cross from 28 yards after a run down the left had the goalie step forward on the right post and got a hand to and bat away to break up a TS player charging to the post. Brown got another chance when he flicked a header from 12 yards after receiving a long upfield pass that hit the outside of the right post at 74 minutes. 80 minutes had Kinlay Shulman have a 15 yard shot from the right hit the outside webbing of the net. 10 minutes later he had a 15 yard shot saved by the sprawling goalie on the short side right post and his 8 yard rebound blast was blocked
by a defender.

I felt Skillz were greatly handicapped from any comeback attempt once they were down to ten men and I was waiting for Nitros to roll up the score.

Nitros record improves to 9 wins, 5 losses, 2 ties for 29 points with a goals for/against of 41/24. They are in third place in the Eastern Division only four points behind Woodbridge Strikers who did not play tonight as they were in a tournament this weekend with Vaughan Strikers, Toronto FC III, and Juventus (Italy) U-17 team. TFC III ended up winning over Juventus in Penalty kicks.

This was the first game for Skillz after their first win of the season last Sunday against a short sided Windsor. They were scheduled to play a rescheduled game on Thursday night against the last team that hadn’t won this season but that game was postponed for a second time because of a wet field.

Skillz record falls to 1 win, 13 losses, 0 ties for 3 points. They are eighth (last) in the East. Their goals for and against is 14 to 46 so tonight’s score is almost as close to a 1-3.75 to hit as close to their average score as possible.

* This stadium is where my regular soccer watching started in the 1988 season when I watched North York Rockets of the “Canadian Soccer League (1987-1992)” [Wikipedia name to distinguish it from the later league] from their second year onward. That first game against the defending champs Vancouver 86ers where Rockets being the worst team in the inaugural season pulled a 3-1 upset in front of a sellout crowd—the stands were full and folding metal chairs were brought in to line the track into the endzone. I think the crowd was announced as 3000 to 3200 and the only time I remember it ever selling out. North York mayor Mel Lastman gave a short speech that night (Toronto mayorship wouldn’t come until years later and he campaigned against amalgamation!). My younger self often walked there and sometimes beat the then 30-minutes-between bus service of those nights.

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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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