Terrible wind pun I know, but it was blustery day up in Vaughan, I couldn’t make it up there due to work commitments but the audio on the match video and corner flags at constant right angles were proof enough.
I was looking forward to this game after results in the first week, Sigma looking to stop the TFC attack that put 6 past London in week 1 and continue to build on their good win over Oakville. TFC made a number of changes from the firsts game whilst Sigma made 3 changes to the starting 11 with Merrick, Jenson and Matic coming out and Lee, Alfazy and Kalonji coming in. At first glance I’d say unfairly as I thought they all had good games vs Oakville, but all 3 that came in each proved why they started this match and shows that coach Bobby Smyrniotis knows a lot more about his team than I do after one match 😉
The game started pretty evenly, TFC getting more of a grip on the match first forcing Henry into a good save early on with Osorio hitting the cross-bar from the rebound. Sigma seemed to have a similar game plan as the week before. Happy to pass around the back line using Ghaffur, then breaking quickly with Frano in the middle before spreading the ball out wide. One of these attacks led to a corner for Sigma. Stoddart floated the ball into the box where Lee leapt higher than everyone to nod the ball home for a 1 nil advantage.
TFC had a lot of possession but didn’t create too much before another driving run from the back, the ball came to Alfazy whose diagonal run across the pitch towards the right hand corner of the box invited Grant to burst past his defender latch on the lovely through ball take one touch and dink it over the oncoming keeper. Another highlight worthy goal from Sigma.
TFC pulled one back after a good move down the right with the full back pulling an inch perfect cross into the path of the oncoming Malik Johnson who found the net under pressure from about 10 yards out.
The 2nd half followed a similar pattern with TFC having a majority of the possession and Sigma keeping 10 men behind the ball at all times, seemingly working in stages to either sit back or pressure the ball high up the pitch. In comparison to the previous game Sigma were still able to get their attacking moves going and still looked threatening on the counter. However, despite the defence seeming confident and solid throughout, Sigma were pushing their luck, TFC were creating a lot chances of their own and when they did get past the defence Henry was always equal to it making a number of great saves throughout the half.
The difference between the 2 teams on the day was Sigma put away the chances they got (for the most part). The 3rd goal came from another defence splitting pass by Alfazy. This time from near the halfway line playing Kalonji in on goal, who with one touch took it past the keeper onto his right foot, managed to hold the defender off and passed the ball into the open net from a tight angle. TFC had chances before in the 83rd minute Sigma broke again down the right with Grant crossing the ball into the middle where Dominic Samuel was upended by the TFC goalkeeper Brogan Engbers.
Grant stepped up to take the penalty due to last week’s penalty taker Frano being substituted a few minutes before. His first attempt was saved by Engbars diving to his left. But the officials adjudged TFC players to be encroaching on the penalty and demanded it be retaken. Grant stepped up again and put the ball in the same place, this time however Engbers went the opposite way and Sigma were 4-1 up.
Dante Campbell was later sent off for TFC in injury time, I couldn’t quite make out what for from the video.
I am interested to see how Sigma set up on Friday against Prostars, who on current form, Sigma would be expecting to beat, but will they stick to the tactics they have used in the last 2 games, keeping it tight and countering or playing a more expansive game?