This weekend instead of regular league games all contests were second round L1O Cup games.
Aurora FC played ProStars at Stewart Burnett Park in Aurora on Saturday.
9’ Aurora FC 1-0 ProStars — Aurora’s Dylan Rennie stops on his run at 20 yards up the middle and looks to AFC’s Casey Collis to his left waiting for his pass but suddenly shoots a bender into the top right of the net past flying goalie Aaron Peters.
40’ Aurora FC 1-1 ProStars — Owusu George rolls a penalty kick to the left as goalie Ryan Collins had fallen backwards on his stutter-step fake.
73’ — AFC’s Dylan Rennie blasts a penalty kick to the left and the goalie stops it on the left post. The defenders hold off AFC players until the fallen goalie can crawl over and smother the loose ball.
79’ Aurora FC 2-1 ProStars — Alexandre Medeiros’s corner kick from the left has Kairav Juta leap and head ball from six yards with his back to goal up the middle in a crowd of players to the centre of the net.
89’ Aurora FC 2-2 Prostars — Abbey Kunrunmi rolls a pass forward and Anthony Chrysanthou on the run takes a low 20 yard shot from the right into the left corner of the net.
At the end of regulation time it’s 2-2 and L1O rules are to go straight to penalty kicks in a cup match. Both managers were expecting an extra time period.
Penalty kick round:
1. AFC Goal — Morey Doner scores to the top right corner beyond the goalie.
1. PS Goal — Owusu George scores on a shot to low left as the goalie fell backwards, faked out by a stutter-step approach.
2. AFC Goal — Kairav Juta scores on the right side as the goalie flies left.
2. PS Goal — Aleksander Zwierzynski scores by banking the ball off the inside of the left post beyond the goalie.
3. AFC Miss — Carlos Buitrago blasts a shot to the left and the goalie flies over to stop it.
3. PS Goal — Uday Arora rolls ball to right corner beyond diving goalie.
4. AFC Goal — Ricardo Perez Padilla blasts low to the right beyond the diving goalie.
4. PS Goal — Yuriy Klinovskyy’s low blast is just under the diving goalie.
5. AFC Miss — Alexandre Medeiros stutter steps then shoots to the left and the goalie dives to stop it.
ProStars win 4-3 in penalties and advance to the quarterfinal.
Attendance was about 75 on this hot evening with the game ending just before the sun set.
Referee David Barrie gave out two yellow cards to each team in a game that got rough in spots, and he gave a red card to an assistant manager on the ProStars bench for complaining about a handball he wanted called near the AFC box.
Aaron Peters for ProStars looked good with three penalty saves (one in regulation). He was not fooled by the stutter-step approach in the last round. He held his ground with Medeiros at a standstill and able to react to a shot without a lot of power. Peters had made a stop on a seven-yard shot at 86 minutes from Connor Woodroffe to keep them in the game.
Ryan Collins was caught twice on penalties committing too soon and was on the ground before the ball was struck. Still, both looked better than that goalie for Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League on Saturday.
Although not pointless, neither team has won after four weeks of league play.
Oh and Pro Stars FC advance to play Toronto FC III next round as TFC III won 4-1 against Windsor TFC on the road this afternoon with enough fire power using guys not brought up for the TFC II game yesterday against Tampa Bay.
I caught one other game in the afternoon between Woodbridge Strikers and Ottawa South United, in which Woodbridge won 4-1. Any suspense for this game was over quickly as Emmanuel Issac and Ali El Zeir scored at 2’ and 5’ for Woodbridge. Halftime sub Tyrell Rayne scored at 50’ and 67’ to increase their lead, and Myles Cornwall got one back at 80’ on a penalty kick. The way Strikers play over the past seasons is they are well known for a rock-steady defence which limited OSU to almost no shots on goal and little time of possession. I counted the first time an OSU player even got into the box at 29’.
The game had a 1:45 p.m. start, which meant it was played in the hottest part of the day. Referee Filip Dujic ensured that there was a water break in each half. I asked an OSU official after the game if they’d arrived in Toronto last night. Nope. They left early this morning and it was about a five hour drive. I said the only thing worse than the long drive here will be the five hour drive back after today’s result! This league needs a hotel sponsor.
OSU had six starters and two on their bench born in the year 2000. Back to high school tomorrow? Their oldest player was born in 1996.
I spoke to the Strikers’ longtime coach Peter Pinizzotto about the Cup draw. The draw was made like a tennis draw or NCAA basketball bracket rather than European one-round-at-a-time draws, so the route to the final is known. The Strikers’ next opponent is Vaughan Azzurri in the quarterfinal. The 2016 and 2017 finals pitted Strikers vs. Azzurri, with each team winning once (Woodbridge last year). 2015 had Woodbridge win and the inaugural season of 2014 had the Azzurri win (both teams beat Sigma FC).
The Azzurri hammered North Mississauga 6-0 on Saturday afternoon. Hmm, there must be no seeding as this would be like having the Williams sisters meeting in the first round of some tennis tournament.
The winner of the L1O Cup just wins a trophy. It is League play and playoffs that decide who advances to the Canadian Championship/Voyageurs Cup next season.