Rocket Robin Report: May 20/21 League1 Ontario Match Reports

Editor’s Note: Due to the extremely high frequency of Robin Glover’s match report, we will now be grouping his match reports by league based upon the week of play. As Robin’s articles are originally published elsewhere and merely reprinted here, they are presented unedited. They are merely reformatted to improve the way they display on our site. We hope you enjoy the new format.

Result and details of the Saturday May 20, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Toronto FC III and North Mississauga Panthers held at KIA Training Centre in Downsview at 1:00pm.

TFC III captain Steven Furlano blasts freekick into N Miss wall. Photo by Robin Glover.
TFC III captain Steven Furlano blasts freekick into N Miss wall. Photo by Robin Glover.

2 min…TFC Ethan Beckford GOAL…TFC Aidan Daniels on rush on left and at 20 yards he feeds short cross to center for Beckford to shoot low and past sliding goalie Anthony Whyte at 15 yards into left corner of net.

15 min…TFC Marko Mandekic GOAL…TFC Aidan Daniels sends low pass from 30 yards on left over to Mandekic on right and he shoots low 20 yarder to left corner of net.

74 min…N Miss Bradley Fenton GOAL…N Miss Anton Buretic sends in throw-in that goes untouched over to Fenton who shoots in 10 yarder past goalie Gianluca Catalano to top right corner of net.

Final Score:…Toronto FC III….2….North Mississauga Panthers…..1…

Attendance was about 40 on this mild but very windy day. Again something about this location has the wind blow what seems like triple the speed of the parking lot up the hill. This had an effect on crosses and freekicks being flown or bounced out of play by both teams. The wind was from the east so it did not give either team an advantage with the field’s north-south alignment.

When I saw TFC III rip open a 2-0 lead I thought the scoreline could get ugly but those were the only goals they could muster. They had more chances but couldn’t put them away and Panthers got back into the game for a very even contest and on the last kick of the game Mathew Monteiro with a freekick from 35 yards had his shot fly just over the bar.

TFC almost put the game away at 63 minutes when Aidan Daniels took a 22 yard shot up the middle that hit the bar. The rebound fell to a TFC player who put in the rebound but who was at least five yards offside.

Referee Tim Wong gave out two Yellow cards to each team. One of them was to TFC Kota Sakurai at 85 minutes for a sliding tackle at their 35 yard line. This brought one of the loudest reactions from the N Miss bench as they wanted an advantage played as they had a player get away on the right wing. The card could come later. Interesting that it was Sakurai who was injured and had to be subbed off before the freekick could be taken.

Ethan Beckford scored his fifth goal of the season in only four games. He didn’t look too pleased though being the first TFC player subbed out today at 50 minutes. Five goals gives him most in the league but the weekend’s not over yet.

North Mississauga Panthers joined the league in 2016 but this year I could also say they are an expansion team. Before the game I was talking to head coach Sam Medeiros. He’s replaced Rick Titus this year. He said he replaced the entire team from last year with 1998s and 1999s. I double checked after I got home with the last time I saw the Panthers…October 2 last year and that game was right here against TFC Academy and the only player that was on that roster who is still here is today’s goalscorer Bradley Fenton. The game sheet checks all the starting eleven as U 23s. (of course with the mandate of TFC III, theirs is the same). The team was 1 win, 2 losses coming into today’s game.

I said I remembered Medeiros from the North York Astros. He was a defender for them in 1999, assistant coach, head coach for them and other CNSL/CPSL/CSL over the years and even in League1 Ontario he was an assistant coach for Woodbridge Strikers in 2014.

TFC III’s record climbs to 2 wins, 2 losses this season with their next league game Sunday the 28th away in Monarch Park against Sanjaxx Lions. That field was windy last week too. Before that they play near here at the Downsview Dome right beside here on Wednesday night against Sigma FC in a L1O Cup match at 8:00pm. Reason for that?  The KIA facility (well the one that artificial turf that their Academy teams play on) has no stadium lights! Their deep roster should get them through next week.

Result and details of the Sunday May 21, 2017 League1 Ontario game between North Toronto Nitros and Vaughan Azzurri played at Varsity Stadium in Toronto at 4:30pm.

Vaughan's Brandon Mills (11) on run near sideline. Photo by Robin Glover.
Vaughan’s Brandon Mills (11) on run near sideline. Photo by Robin Glover.

57 min…NTN Mirza Custovic GOAL…NTN Jayden Doyle run on left and crosses from 22 yards has Custovic tip ball at 8 yards in middle into top right corner of net beyond goalie Daniel Gosciniak.

65 min…VA Tomasz Sklublak GOAL…VA Jason Mills gets through two defenders to 10 yard line on left and sends low pass along that 10 yard line through crowd of players for Sklublak who maneuvers around defender and rolls 10 yarder down middle into right corner of net beyond goalie Mark Rogal.

76 min…VA RED card…Jason Mills earns his second Yellow card of the game for what looked like arguing with referee Lukasz Kowalewski about him whistling down a VA rush and giving NTN a freekick at the NTN 40 yard line.

83 min…NTN Nikolay Saveliev GOAL…NTN Thomas Mickoski at 15 yards along end line sends low cross and Saveliev receives it between players and shoots 7 yarder into right side of net.

Final Score:..North Toronto Nitros….2…Vaughan Azzurri….1…

Attendance was about 50 on this rainy afternoon. We’d been warned as it had been raining for hours before the game, then it looked like it stopped at the ten minute mark then was raining again during the entire second half harder than anytime during the day. This had an effect on both teams with through ball passes rolling right over the end line before they could be played and crosses bounding out of bounds off the turf.

Referee Lukasz Kowalewski gave out three Yellow cards (two to Vaughan) plus the Red card and he also ejected Azzurri coach Carmen Isacco after the NTN second goal for complaining from the bench. Actually Jason Mills picked up his first Yellow card at 35 minutes for what looked like complaining about NTN being awarded a freekick at the VA 35 yard line.

The game had a bunch of ‘what if’ moments for a different story-line for both teams. Just before halftime a Vaughan player stole the ball off a defender at the top of the NTN box and he quickly rolled a pass over to a teammate who took a quick shot up the middle from 10 yards and NTN goalie Mark Rogal made a point blank sprawling save at 5 yards but a rebound rolled back out and VA Joseph Di Chiara skied a 10 yard shot over the net with the goalie down. 73 minutes had an NTN player make a run up the middle and fell when he took a shot which goalie Andrew D’Souza stopped but a big rebound had another NTN player following up blasted a low shot with the goalie out of position but he hit his fallen teammate at 7 yards and play was immediately called offside.

Nitros have an affiliation with the University of Toronto besides using their stadium when the school isn’t using it. (that will mean starting in August, they will play home games at Downsview Park). They had four players today on the U or T 2016 soccer roster. Vaughan is known for its links to York University. Today they had only one player of their eighteen who was on York U’s 2016 men’s soccer roster. Each goalie in today’s game played on their university roster in 2016. The schools also supply players to other teams. Yesterday afternoon I saw U of T’s defender Matt Stakic play for L1O Toronto FC III. Now York U can top that by saying Ryan Telfer recently signed for USL Toronto FC II. So nyah nyah!

Nitro’s Lael Daniel was an unused sub today. The last two years he played for Sanjaxx Lions.

I hadn’t been to the ‘New’ Varsity Stadium for a few years. It has field turf with football lines and a wide (eight lane) track around the field. It’s listed as having 5000 seats, all on one big stand on the east side. There were about ten fans watching from the end zone under a concrete awning and ten more on the sunken corridor the length of the stadium although the view is more like from a bunker.

I certainly chose the right game of four all being held around the same time in the GTA area. The plans for me were to see another of the sixteen teams in the Men’s L1O (Nitros make it fourteen teams o far) after only the fourth week of the season. I got admission into the press box which ran almost the entire length of the stands and could have been separated into suites. So much easier in the dry then juggling a pen, notebook, umbrella, camera and binoculars.

Both teams in this game are from the Eastern Conference. The results leave both teams in a three way tie for third place with identical 2 wins, 1 loss, 1 tie for 7 points. Durham United are the other team with that record after their win on Friday night against Ottawa South United. Second place is the OSU team with 9 points at 3 wins, 1 loss. First place are Woodbridge who had a half hour head start on this game and beat Toronto Skillz to go a perfect 4 wins in four games for 12 points.

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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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