Vaughan Azzurri, after going down to ten players, held on in the final ten minutes to leave Esther Shiner Stadium with a 2-1 victory over Masters FA on Thursday evening.
Both teams battled back-and-forth in a tense first half that ended scoreless, but Vaughan's Maksym Kowal (61') suddenly broke the deadlock as he headed in a corner for the opening goal of the game after an hour.
Raheem Rose (75') extended the lead to 2-0 after his shot from distance flew into the top corner past the Masters' goalkeeper, Daniel Gosciniak.
Trouble started to brew soon after. Vaughan had already accumulated four yellow cards in the game.
Jason Mills had some discussion with the referee after a foul, and he was given a straight dismissal in the 80th minute.
Masters capitalized on the situation as they threw players forward to chase long balls. The plan came to fruition as Vaughan's defence succumbed to the pressure when a dangerous tackle in the box lead to a penalty for the Saints.
From the spot, Francis Ameyaw (90') put his shot under a diving Ali Ghazanfari Moghaddam, bringing the deficit to only one with a minimum of five minutes of added time.
Masters continued their urgent play in the search of a tying goal, but Vaughan held on for the win going into the long weekend.
Cautions were issued to Rose, Kowal, Duran Lee, and Andrew Gray of Vaughan. Ameyaw of Masters was also cautioned in the game.
Vaughan Azzurri (10-2-1) have secured a top-three finish in the table with 31 points, only two behind first-place Alliance United FC. Vaughan's goal differential is at +23 (37 GF, 14 GA).
The Azzurri will next play Pro Stars FC at North Maple Regional Park, Vaughan, on August 11 (8 p.m.).
Masters FA (7-3-3) are in fifth place with 24 points. Their goal differential is at +8 (26 GF, 18 GA).
The Saints will look to secure their playoff berth on August 10 (7 pm) when they visit
Unionville-Milliken SC at Mount Joy, Markham.