(Photo: Bob Twidle)
(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)
Wins for Oakville Blue Devils and Vaughan SC change the order at the top of the table, just a week ahead of seeding for playoffs, while a strong win for FC London puts Aurora FC outside the eight-team post-season group.
Find match briefs, full match video and a selection of high-res photography below!
(Photo: Bob Twidle)
Sunday's top-of-the-table clash between Oakville Blue Devils and Alliance United ended with Oakville taking home all three points and handing Alliance their first defeat of the season on a sunny afternoon in Oakville.
The first half was a tight affair with neither side having any real chances. Both goalkeepers stood their ground when called upon, but chances were few and far between.
The second half started in the same manner but the breakthrough finally came when an Oakville corner kick taken by Carlo DiFeo was met by the head of Cory Vickers (75') to put his team into the lead and first place in the standings.
In the dying minutes Alliance began to push further forward but Oakville's defence was prepared and dealt with any danger.
Both teams had already clinched playoff places but Oakville's win sees them takeover first place with only one week left in the regular season.
Oakville will next play Windsor TFC on August 16 (8 p.m.) at the University of Windsor Stadium, Windsor.
Alliance will next play Durham United FA on August 16 (8 p.m.) at Kinsmen Park Field, Pickering.
(Photo: F10 Sports/ Martin Bazyl Photography)
FC London defeated Aurora FC 3-0 to move up in the standings and put themselves into a playoff spot just one week before the end of the regular season.
In the opening minutes of the match, FC London's Connor Wilson (3') shot a rocking volley from the top of the box to shock the home team. The first shot attempt for London was the opening goal of the match.
Aurora responded to the unexpected early goal by pressing high and pushing forward for the equalizer. In the 9th minute, Aurora's Ali El Zeir and Nicholas Machado forced FC London's Anthony Sokalski into making back-to-back saves after two close range shot attempts.
By half, both sides had seen their fair share of offensive chances: Aurora had earned four corner kicks, and registered four shot attempts with three on target; FC London earned two corners and three shot attempts with two on target.
FC London's Tomas Alvarez (57') doubled the visitors' lead and made it a steeper hill for Aurora to climb out off. Aurora sought out a consolation goal and was not able to get the ball past London's Sokalski, who played a solid match and earned his fifth clean sheet of the regular season.
Second half substitute for FC London, Ben Vyfschaft (72'), sealed the match with a close-range strike.
FC London currently find themselves seventh, earning a playoff spot for the time being but they will need a result next weekend with a bottleneck of teams at the base of the table jostling to get into the eight-team playoff grouping.
Aurora FC mathematically still have a chance in clinching a playoff spot but a lot moving pieces on final day will have to fall in their favour, combined with a win for Aurora over second-place side, Vaughan Azzurri.
FC London will next play Pro Stars FC on August 8 (7 p.m.) at Victoria Park, Brampton.
Aurora FC will next play Vaughan SC on August 18 (6 p.m.) at Stewart Burnett Park, Aurora.
(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)
Maksym Kowal scored from the penalty spot and provided an assist as Vaughan Azzurri steamrolled Pro Stars FC 4-0 to move up to the second place just a week before seeding is decided for the playoffs.
Vaughan Azzurri had the better of the early play and found the net with their first genuine attempt. Jarek Whiteman (9') guided in a Maksym Kowal cross from the right to give an early lead to his side.
After the goal, Pro Stars FC came forward, causing a few scares for the Azzurri although all attempts were off target.
Federico Leal unleashed a rocket from distance on 21 minutes, parried out for a corner by Pro Stars FC keeper Christian Campanico. Later, Raheem Rose could have doubled the lead on 34 minutes but Campanico again denied the strike.
Just before the end of the first half, Vaughan keeper Matt George came to the rescue as he saved a Darren Chambers' low shot from eight yards away.
The first forty-five minutes was very physical, and the referee showed cautions to seven players (four of Vaughan and three of Pro Stars).
At the dawn of the second half, Jahsua Mills was brought down by Odain Simpson inside the ProStarts box and Vaughan were awarded a penalty. Kowal (48') stepped up and converted it by sending the keeper the wrong way.
Federico Leal (56') scored a stunner shortly afterwards, sending the ball into the top corner of the net with a volley from the edge of the box.
The visitors could have got one back, as the half-time substitute Duwayne Ewart found himself in a one-on-one situation with the keeper but was denied.
At the other end, Jahsua Mills rounds the keeper on a Kowal through ball and hit the wrong side of the net.
Ewart impressed again with a header on Halburto Harris' cross from the left to rattle the near post.
The last ten minutes was wide open with attacks from both sides, and it was again Vaughan who found the net.
Rose (88') completed a long give-and-go with Julian De Sousa to beat the keeper with a low finish and seal a 4-0 win for the hosts.
With this result, Vaughan Azzurri moved into second position, just one point ahead of Alliance United and one point behind the leader Oakville Blue Devils; on the other hand, Pro Stars FC were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Vaughan Azzurri will next play Aurora FC on August 18 (6 p.m.) at Stewart Burnett Park, Aurora.
Pro Stars FC will next play FC London on August 17 (7 p.m.) at Victoria Park, Brampton.