May 16, 2015 League 1 Ontario--Sigma FC vs Windsor Stars (from League 1 Ontario press release)
Sigma FC 2 - Windsor Stars 2 . Sun May 17 Written By: Staff, League1 If not for added time, Sigma FC would likely be celebrating a Home Opener victory over Windsor Stars. However, Noah Pio's stunning strike just before the halftime whistle and Brett Holmberg's dramatic goal in the last seconds of second half added time allowed Windsor to cancel out a pair of first half Sigma goals by Eji Mrabure and Marcus Hanson, resulting in an entertaining 2-2 draw on Saturday evening at Mississauga's Hershey Centre. The home side controlled most of the first half and were rewarded for their strong play with a 2-0 lead inside 30 minutes. Mrabure opened the scoring in the 21st minute, latching onto a pass from Manvir Brar and deftly sliding the ball past Windsor 'keeper Kyle Vizirakis and into the far corner of goal to give Sigma the lead. Hanson doubled the lead eight minutes later, the beneficiary of a lovely give and go passing play between Alex Halis and Duran Lee. Lee's accurate pass across the 18 yard box found Hanson all alone on the right side of the penalty area and the young forward made no mistake. It looked likely that Sigma would take a two goal lead into the half but the 17 year old Pio had other ideas. Deep into first half added time, the young Windsor forward pounced on a loose ball at the top of the Sigma 18 yard box and slammed a lovely right footed looping shot into the far corner to make it 2-1. Sigma goalkeeper Triston Henry flew to get to the ball but it was just out of his reach. There was a bit of controversy early in the second half as it appeared that Mrabure had restored Sigma's two goal lead in the 49th minute. However, referee David Barrie called a foul before the shot was taken, resulting in Sigma being awarded a free kick just outside the Windsor penalty area. Halis' well struck shot flew just over the bar, allowing Stars to escape further damage. In the 61st minute, Sigma's Christian Samaniego was hauled down in Windsor's 18 yard box, and Barrie awarded the home side a penalty kick. Halis, who was one of the stars of this match, stepped up to take the shot but Vizirakis guessed correctly and made a big save to keep his side in the game. The balance of the second half was a fairly even affair, with both teams having their share of good chances to score but without reward. Then, when it appeared that Sigma had done enough to secure the full three points from this contest, Windsor's Brett Holmberg pounced on a loose ball just inside the 18 yard box and drove a low, hard strike through a web of bodies and legs into the back of the goal to square the match at 2 goals apiece with only mere seconds of added time remaining. While a mob of Stars' teammates pounced on Holmberg, the Sigma fans in attendance were left in stunned silence. Sigma Head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis was very pleased with the play of Mrabure and also praised Windsor's veteran midfielder Stephen Ademolu. "Eji was very good on the attacking end and was involved on both goals. He provides us with another player to play in our dynamic top three," said Smyrniotis. "Ademolu was Windsor's leader and was like a coach on the field...he did a good job organizing his team and led quick counter attacks. He helps their team tremendously." While disappointed not to secure three points on the evening, Smyrniotis was philosphical. "Our performance was very good for 65 minutes, excluding the lapse before halftime," he said. "We will continue to bring our moving parts together and look to bring a better tempo to our game. We have ten days to work on it until we face a busy stretch of four matches over two weeks." With the draw, Sigma moves into a tie for second place in the league standings with a total of 7 points from 3 games. They return to action on May 31st, when they travel to Oakville to take on the Blue Devils. Windsor now move into sixth place in the table, with 4 points from four matches. They also have a bye during Matchweek 4. They are back at it on May 31st, when they host Kingston Clippers at McHugh Stadium.
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