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Match Recap: Vaughan Azzurri 8 - 2 Aurora FC

10/02/2017, 9:15pm EDT
By League1 Ontario staff

A hat-trick from league-leading scorer Jarek Whiteman (9', 70', 77'), braces from Dena Iezady (5', 33') and Ryan Raposo (45', 66'), and a single from Jackson Tooke (71') provided Vaughan Azzurri with the firepower in Matchweek 23, but a dismissal to teammate Mario Kovacevic (39') and goals from Aurora's Ezekiel Uadiale (40') and Basel Rashrash (44') gave this 4-2 match plenty of talking points. 

"I thought the lads did very well today considering it's one of those games like where if you win the game people expect you to do, and if you get beat... you're in a no-win situation," said Vaughan team official Jason Beckford. 

"I thought we approached the game really well, very professionally, and got three goals up early," he added. "Disappointed with how the other goals came about, but we need to be more professional and try and make sure we keep a clean sheet. Lots of good football today, lots of plus side, and happy to come away with a win obviously, but the way we played - I thought we more than deserved the win."

Aurora had some mis-steps in the match, and gave up an early deficit, but head coach Derek O'Keeffe was happy with many aspects of the team's play.

"It was individual errors, lots of them," he began. "We gifted them a goal after the first five minutes, our centre-backs gave them the ball. That being said, they went three nil up, we did really well to come back to 3-2 - showed good character - and I thought out wide we hurt them a lot."

"A soft goal conceded by half-time left us going in 4-2, and we were happy enough, but the fifth goal early in the second half killed us."

"We didn't press high enough in the second half," he added. "We spoke at half-time about pressing them and not giving time on the ball but we just backed off and gave them space and time. When you give that to good players, they are going to punish everything and that is what happened."

Both sets of technical staff were eager to point out bright young talents in their teams that deserved special mention, and will be names to watch going forward.

"I thought Ryan Raposo was a real threat today," said Beckford. "He scored two goals and his all around play was very, very good today."

"Jarek [Whiteman] scored a hat-trick and scored consistently all year, but I thought Ryan did well and earned an MVP today."

"I thought Basel Rashrash did quite well up front," said O'Keeffe. "He got a goal, some free kicks and was causing them problems. He obviously got injured as the game went on, but I thought he did well." 

"I think Max Ferrarri is one to keep an eye on as well. He's very hungry, plays with his heart on his sleeve, and I think next year he is one to watch for sure." 

Vaughan Azzurri finish the season joint-first in the men's east division with Woodbridge Strikers, but Woodbridge has one game in hand against Oakville Blue Devils on Wednesday October 4 and need only one point to take the division and the lone spot in the 2017 League1 Ontario Championship Final.  

A loss to Oakville would force a one-match playoff between Vaughan and Woodbridge to determine the men's east division champions.

Aurora FC will next play Toronto Skillz on October 7 at St. Maximillion Kolbe HS, Aurora. 

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