June 20, 2015 League 1 Ontario--Toronto FC Academy vs Durham United FC (from League 1 Ontario press release)
Toronto FC Academy 0 - Durham United F.C. 2 . Mon Jun 22 Written By: Staff, League1 Durham United F.C. secured a valuable win away at Toronto F.C. Academy's Kia Training Grounds after second half strikes from Jordan Dover (50') and Kristian Lee-Him (72'). After a tight first half, in which TFCA goalkeeper Brogan Engbers saved a penalty from Durham forward LeRohne Young, Durham stepped up their press and began to find rewards from the pressure on the Junior Reds backline. "The key moment was our first goal," said Durham head coach, Sanford Carabin. "We changed our tactics to start the second half, to try and play more in TFC's half and force them to play through us by pressing higher up the pitch - this led to a turnover early and Jordon produced a spectacular individual effort to score from distance. This galvinized the team and instilled a lot of belief in our play." "Playing out of the back was tough on the day as we gave the ball away," admitted TFCA head coach, Stuart Neely. "PK save by Brogan Engbers kept us in the match early on but mistakes cost us. [In training] we will address repetitive problem solving sessions with focus on midfield play and relationship with back line." The gravity of an early-season win over TFCA at their home grounds was not lost on Carabin. "Going into Kia isn't easy," he said. "TFC Academy teams are very well organized, have some of the best young players around, and tend to dictate the tempo of most games with their high level of ball circulation. We started the game off allowing them far too much space, and they managed to hold on to possession much more than we anticipated - hence we struggled to get any grip of the game. However, we adapted in the second half and asked the players to increase their work rate defensively, which allowed us to disrupt their normal build-up play and regain possession quicker." With very little between the two sides for most of the contest, Carabin was also quick to point out the difficulties the Junior Reds caused for Durham. "I thought their #9 [Malik Johnson] was their most dynamic player," he said. "He created all kinds of problems for us, especially in the first half, when he dropped into pockets between our back line and midfield to pick up the ball and we struggled to defend against his pace running with the ball. What we took out of this game is that we need to address how we defend better... between the lines." Neely highlighted the work of Nicholas Osorio - "put in an honest effort and kept us in position while demanding from his team-mates" - as well as Durham's Bruce Cullen, who "attacked well 1v1." Carabin selected goalscorers Jordan Dover and Kristain Lee-Him as standouts, as well as defender Joe Zupo. "Jordon defended very well at right back and created problems for TFC going forward with his overlapping runs and link up play with out forwards," said Carabin. "Kristain started his first game with us and looked very comfortable in the #8 role. He worked tirelessly pressing their midfielders from playing centrally and made several late attacking runs... one of which resulted in our 2nd goal." "Joe was his usual steady self at the heart of our defence, organizing our back four and making timely interceptions all game long against some very dynamic forwards." TFCA will surely look to rebound quickly from the loss, but faces a tough midweek fixture away to Windsor Stars on Wednesday June 24 at McHugh Stadium, Windsor, 8 p.m. kickoff. The contest will be refreshed in league play on Sunday June 28, as TFCA welcomes Windsor to Kia Training Ground, 2:45 p.m. Durham has a slightly easier fixture list, avoiding the midweek Cup fixtures and playing Saturday June 27 at L'Amoreaux Park, Scarborough vs. Master's FA Saints, 9 p.m.
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