A cagey match between Sanjaxx Lions men and the visiting Windsor TFC on Matchweek Three ended in a 2-2 draw that aptly reflected the match-up between these two west division sides.
"We had a good start to the game, and up until our first goal it was a very competitive game," said Sanjaxx assistant coach, Ramon McIntosh.
"I think the two teams were feeling out each other, and we went up 2-0 in the first half after we settled down, figured out a couple things, and caught them on a counter a couple times."
"In the second half we came out complacent. A two nothing lead is the worst lead, and last time we had a lead like that here we had a similar situation develop. We thought we didn't play well that day, but today we thought we had a far more complete performance."
"I think there were about fifteen minutes today where our guys were complacent and didn't compete, and that cost us a penalty and another goal. We had some chances after that, but were unable to capitalize and so we come away with the one point today."
Hilliard Serrao, Sanjaxx Lions (Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)
Hilliard Serrao (29') and Antonio Downey (31') struck within two minutes of each other and put the Lions up by two, but Windsor's Celso Carapau (35', 49') got goals either side of the half-time break to ensure the team wouldn't go home empty-handed.
"I think the boys responded well after going down 2-0," said Windsor head coach Zibby Piatkiewicz.
"We got one back and went to our dressing room at 2-1 and we had a little talk. We discussed the first half, adjusted, and came out to play the second half and we had a good response. We tied the game at 2-2 and I think overall we controlled the game. A couple mistakes in the middle cost us, two turnovers and that was it."
(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)
Sanjaxx have had strong performances for much of their opening three matches, but come away with two draws and a loss from the early going. McIntosh thought the team should have been able to harvest more points from their early season match pattern, but that positive signs were evident.
"Right now it is early in the year so we feel as though we should have more like seven or more points instead of the two points that we have," he said. "Even those draw have felt like losses, but for the technical staff itself we are more concerned with the process of the team developing and doing what we're looking for. We know the wins will come."
"Today we thought the performance was much better than the first two," he said.
"The first game had the same result, but in terms of how we are playing we feel we are playing much better football now. There are certain things we need to improve upon of course, but we are much further ahead than we were a couple weeks ago."
Celso Carapau, Windsor TFC (Photo: Ian Shalapata/ IPSFoto.com/ Windsor TFC)
Windsor has a win, loss, and draw from their opening three matches of 2017, with forward Celso Carapau scoring the entirety of the team's goals. Piatkiewicz was not concerned about only one player supplying all the firepower thus far.
"I don't care who scores the goals, if they come - let's get them," he said. "If they come from one player, who cares. We have to find other ways to score, but I don't care who scores goals."
"We have other options but he has been at the right spot every time. We win as a team and lose as a team. If he doesn't score than someone else will. At this point, three games into the season he is the one who is doing the scoring. It's okay."
Sanjaxx Lions will next play Sigma FC on Sunday May 21 at Monarch Park, Toronto.
Windsor TFC will next play Pro Stars FC on Sunday May 21 at University of Windsor Stadium, Windsor.