June 3, 2015 League 1 Ontario Cup--ANB Futbol vs Sigma FC (from League 1 Ontario press release)
ANB Futbol 2 - Sigma FC 5 . Thu Jun 4 Written By: Staff, League1 New signing, Evan James, a former Canadian U23 and Montreal Impact (MLS) striker, was the difference maker in Wednesday night's L1 Cup Group B clash between ANB Futbol and Sigma FC, as James bagged three goals en route to a convincing 5-2 win for Sigma. "This was [Evan's] second match of the season and he did exactly as we expected of him by taking up good positions in the box and scoring three goals from where a #9 should be," said Sigma head coach Bobby Smyrniotis. "Along with his goals he had a few more chances and worked for his sixty minutes on the pitch." "[James] put himself in proper scoring positions and ended with a hat-trick," said ANB assistant coach, Marcelo Almeida. "[One] can see why he was able to play professionally." James scored two and had an assist in the first half alone, setting up Kwame Awuah for a 12th minute strike, and receiving the return gift from Awuah only minutes later. Richmond Laryea, who just returned to Sigma after a successful freshman season at University of Akron (NCAA) opened the scoring for Sigma in the fifth minute. "Kwame had an excellent game, serving two goals to Evan with precision passes into the penalty area, along with finishing one on his own," added Smyrniotis. "He is an important player to the team and I can see him and many others starting to get their match fitness and sharpness up." After conceding four goals early in the first frame, credit must go to ANB for refusing to lay down. Belrum Vartanian got a late first half strike (43'), before Blake Jones struck late in the match (90') on a penalty, but after captain and prolific striker Jason Mills was shown his second caution in the 63rd minute, a ten men ANB side knew it had a big mountain to climb. "We know Jason as a player for years, and he is always a threat to score," said Smyrniotis. "Although he did not score on this day he was always in and around the attacking play for the opponent, and created some dangerous situations for our defenders in the first forty-five." Both teams are struggling with injuries to key players, and a heavy fixture list that is proving to be taxing on the remaining squad members. "This was our third match in seven days, with cup and league action," said Smyrniotis. "At this point in the season it is a heavy load on the players as we work to bring them up to the proper fitness levels. We also had to think of another immediate match this coming Saturday, with Durham in league play." "[Our] challenges were injuries and suspensions to key players on the defensive line," added Almeida. "We also had one defender, Michael Calder, come out of the game within five minutes, two defenders playing out of position, and a defensive mid-fielder out of the line-up with an injury." Yet Almeida singled out a defender for special praise in the match. "Shiquan Lowe – centreback – played a strong game despite the number of goals conceded," he added. "He was strong in the air, tackled hard, and was a presence throughout the game." For matchweek 6, Sigma hosts Durham at the Hershey Centre (Saturday June 6, 4 p.m.), while ANB meets League1 joint-leaders, Vaughan Azzurri, at McNaughton Turf, (Sunday June 7, 2 p.m.).
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