July 9, 2017 League 1 Ontario--Match Recap: Toronto FC III vs Vaughan Azzurri (from League 1 Ontario)
Match Recap: Toronto FC III 4 - 3 Vaughan Azzurri 07/09/2017, 10:15pm EDT By League1 Ontario staff Toronto FC III came out on top after a remarkable 4-3 result over defending League1 Ontario champions Vaughan Azzurri. "We know Vaughan are a very good team, that is why they are champions," said Toronto FC III head coach, Danny Dichio. "They are an experienced team and we knew that we would have to face some resistance in the second half. We also knew that we could be a threat on the counter. We're a very young team and I think we got caught up in the emotions at times but I thought in the first half we were fantastic today and we deservedly got the win." Kota Sakurai (8') scored a free kick from nearly forty yards out to open the goal register, before teammate Ricardo John (16') and Cyrus Rollocks (38', 68') potted their chances before the half-time break. "They set up their transition game very well," said Vaughan head coach, Carmine Isacco. "We made some errors that hurt us in the back and they exposed us. The 3-0 lead was hard to overcome but I thought we gave it a decent effort." The Azzurri rebounded from the first half deficit with an inspired start to the second half, pressing the Junior Reds high up the pitch, forcing errors from the defenders and quickly capitalizing. Thomas Skublak (58') and Joseph Di Chiarra (63') scored twice to bring the 2016 champions back into the match and set up a mouth-watering finale at Kia Training Ground. However, tensions soon boiled over on the pitch and Vaughan's Jason Mills was shown a straight red card after a physical confrontation, and shortly thereafter Thomas Skublak was given his marching orders for unsportsmanlike behaviour. A nine man Vaughan looked good value for the equalizer and created numerous chances. TFC III were always dangerous on the break and Cyrus Rollocks appeared to put the game away with his second of the night. "We know Cyrus is a player that has a very powerful stride in him and he is very quick on the longer run," said Dichio. "There are certain sides to his game that he needs to improve on but he is very coachable, he's a good kid, he's a lefty and he is starting to show very good confidence in front of goal. Many defences in this league will struggle to handle him and he's moving in the right direction." Still the Azzurri pushed on looking for a breakthrough, and a deflected shot by Vaughan's Zachary Zitoli appeared to offer it after ending up in the TFC net, but was called back for offside. Yet another Azzurri effort cannoned off the underside of the bar and out in the final stages. Finally, substitute Alexander Zis (88') found Vaughan's third of the day just before the closing whistle, but it was a case of too little too late. "We're a deep group and we can't lose focus on why we do this," said Isacco. "We want players to get exposure and prepared for the next level, but in the meantime we can't use that as an excuse to not be at our best or win. Ultimately that is what you have to do and we fell short twice in these last two games and it is something that we need to react and adjust to." Toronto FC III will next play Masters FA Saints on July 22 at L'Amoreaux, Scarborough. Vaughan Azzurri will next play Pro Stars FC on July 15 at Avondale Stadium, Brampton.
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