Result and details of the League 1 Ontario game between Toronto Skillz FC
and North Toronto Nitros played Sunday May 8, 2016 at Birchmount Stadium at 6:00pm.
31 min…NTN Nikolay Saveliev GOAL…NTN Jayden Doyle takes low cornerkick
from left that has Saveliev charge forward left of post and flick foot ball
over two defenders on left post and drop into right side of net.
63 min…NTN Anthony Sousa takes quick shot from 20 yards that hits hand of Skillz
defender Drai Gordon just inside box. Referee Brian Butler gives Gordon
a Yellow card and calls for a Penalty kick.
64 min…NTN Niba MacDonald GOAL…MacDonald shoots Penalty kick low to right
corner of net as goalie Khedar Caesar-Thompson dives left.
76 min…NTN Anthony Sousa GOAL…Sigma Nicholas Goddard pops up header at 12 yards
and Sousa gets to loose ball in middle and rolls 8 yarder past sprawling goalie
to center of net.
Final Score:…..Toronto Skillz FC……0…..North Toronto Nitros……..3…….
Attendance eventually climbed to about 100 maybe slowed down by the isolated
showers throughout the city including a few drops just before game time.
The game finished before dark but those who wore parkas like me were grateful as
the temperatures dropped quickly—geez it’s May already!
Referee Brian Butler gave out four Yellow cards (all in the second half and two
to each team). A few injuries on sloppy challenges rather than anything vicious.
Both Skillz Yellows were for hand balls.
Both teams were flagged often for offsides.
This is only the second League 1 Ontario ever for each of these new teams. Both teams
play in the Eastern Conference and lost their first games. Nitros looked the better
team by far in the first half with Skillz players rarely getting within 30 yards
of the NTN goal. Skillz improved in the second half but were forced to open
up and left themselves subject to NTN counterattacks. Nitros looked much better than
when I saw them play last week against Vaughan Azzurri. They were often able
to break up Skillz rushes with blocks and pass interceptions just outside their box.
Best non-scoring chances were at 1 minute when NTN Abdallah Elchanti received
a partial clearance after an NTN cornerkick and blasted a 30 yard shot from the
right that hit the bar. 18 minutes had Elchanti feed a through ball pass from
the center line over to NTN Nikolay Saveliev at 40 yards on the left and he raced
in to 15 yards and the goalie caught his shot at 6 yards. 34 minutes had NTN
Jayden Doyle charge in on a break on the left and rolled a cross into the center
of the box where NTN Russell Rodrigues blasted a shot from 10 yards that the goalie
blocked. 78 minutes had Skillz Ryan Reid rush for a ball at 15 yards and his low shot
was blocked point blank by the goalie.
Mark Rogal earned the shutout for the Nitros with a few key stops especially
in the second half.
The only player I recognized on the Skillz team was their captain/defender
Nicholas Goddard who I watched play for Durham United in 2014 and Masters’ Saints
last year. (even back to Milltown FC of CSL in 2010). Midfielder Andrew Gordon
was recently on the Canada U-20 team (well at least their ID camp).
I hadn’t been to Birchmount Stadium in a few years. Aluminum seats including
two extra stands mean that about 1200 could sit inside. Field turf still looks
“Birchmount Stadium—home of the Robbie” was rapped in the #1 hit song ‘One Week’
by the Barenaked Ladies in 1998. The Robbie is the world’s largest annual charitable
youth tournament. And you thought only Drake drops Toronto place names!