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Alliance, London, Masters Get Big Quarter-Final First Leg Wins As Oakville And Woodbridge Ends In Stalemate

By League1 Ontario staff, 08/27/19, 12:30PM EDT


(Photo: F10 Sports)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)

London and Masters got important first leg wins over Vaughan and Sigma in last weekend's 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Quarter-Finals, with Masters finding two crucial away goals going into the second leg of competition. 

Alliance United took it up a notch, finding three away goals in their victory over hosts North Mississauga, while Oakville Blue Devils and Woodbridge Strikers will go into their second leg in Oakville on even terms following a scoreless draw. 

Check out full match recaps + match video, and detail on the second leg of the 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Quarter-Finals stage below!

(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)

Adam Czerkawski (84') led Masters FA to victory in the dying minutes of their 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Quarter-Final first leg, leaving Paramount Fine Foods Field in Mississauga with a victory and an important two away goals after a 2-1 result over Sigma FC on Saturday.

Sigma conceded a late foul just outside of their own box, setting up the centre-back to score his second goal in three games as Czerkawski rifled his free kick winner toward the far post and into the back of the net.

The goal gave the Saints a crucial win with two away goals against a perennial powerhouse in Sigma; Masters will now carry a hefty advantage into the second leg two weeks later.

Both teams had chances to open the scoring in the first half. Off a corner kick, the ball fell right in front of Sigma's Tyriq Armstrong in the 19th minute. He hit it on the half-volley, the ball going over the crossbar by mere centimetres.

Just 10 minutes later, Masters came close on their own chance off a corner kick, but Sigma goalkeeper Luca Iacobellis got a hand on the header to keep the game scoreless. The half ended without any goals, but the opportunities were brewing and about to boil over.

The Saints kicked things off early in the second half as Francis Ameyaw crossed the ball over from the left, and first-half substitute Samer Hamade (48') tapped it in to score the first of the match.

Sigma ramped up the pressure with more urgency in their step as they trailed. Armstrong collided with a defender in the box, but the referee waved his hands to brush off any penalty calls.

In the 65th minute, Akeem Preistly zig-zagged around the back line, leaving a Sigma defender on the ground tripping over himself. However, Iacobellis made another save to keep the game close.

Manuel Morgado (71') tied the game up for Sigma, rolling the ball into the corner out of the reach of the Masters' goalkeeper, Spiridon Koskinas. All momentum looked to even up between the teams until Czerkawski saved the day for the Saints with his rocket free-kick.

More yellow cards were issued as the match concluded, but the most agonizing one goes to Cody Green, who was already booked in the first half for a reckless tackle. Five minutes into added time, Green received another yellow, ending his day and the game with a dismissal.

Both goalkeepers were kept busy in front of goal in the afternoon. Koskinas made two saves in the win, while Iacobellis stopped seven to prevent the deficit from getting out of hand.

Masters exacted revenge for their 2-1 loss to Sigma in the regular season, and they'll hope to get the final laugh as the second leg is scheduled to be played on Saturday, September 7 (8 pm) at L'Amoreaux Sports Centre, Toronto.

Sigma will need to score at least two to move on into the Semi-Finals of the League1 Ontario playoffs.

(Jonathan Cheng)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)

FC London hosted the reigning League1 Champions, Vaughan Azzurri, at the German Canadian Club on Saturday and came out with a 2-1 victory in the first-leg of their 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Quarter-Final.

Emotions were running high before the match even started, with London knowing they have struggled in the playoffs against Vaughan in previous years.

Both sides tested each other early on, but it was FC London's GoPaul (17') that opened up the floodgates by squeaking behind Vaughan's back-line and depositing a well-placed through ball from striker Connor Wilson for the game's first goal.

League1 Ontario's 2019 Golden Boot winner, Vaughan's Maksym Kowal (23'), answered right back with a rocket from the left side of goal for his first of the post-season.

The tying goal was short lived though, as London’s Alvarez (26') tucked a low shot past Vaughan keeper, Matt George, to put the home side back in the lead.

London went into the second half and played a very strong defensive game, ensuring their passes were not wasted and quickly closing down Vaughan's Kowal, who regularly attempted to beat the offside trap.

The second leg of this Quarter-Final will be played on Sunday, September 8 (7 p.m.) at North Maple Regional Park, Vaughan. 

London will simply need to keep their one goal advantage intact to win the tie, while Vaughan will need one goal in the second leg to draw the aggregate score and go through on the away goals tiebreaker.

As with all 2019 League1 Ontario Quarter and Semi-Final match-ups, aggregate score over the two legs, and then the away goals tiebreaker - whereby away goals count as double in the case of an aggregate draw - will be the methods utilized to decide the outcome.    

(Anthony Gallo)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)

Woodbridge Strikers and Oakville Blue Devils played out a hard-fought, yet goalless draw in their #playoffs2019 Quarter-Final first leg game in Woodbridge on Saturday.

The game, which was pitting the regular season leaders, Blue Devils, against eighth-seed Strikers, was more evenly matched then their league placements suggested, involving a heavy battle in the midfield throughout.

The first chance of the game came on 17 minutes, as Woodbridge's Matthew Santos tried his luck from outside the box, but his left-footed effort went just wide.

For the other side, another No. 8, Aaron McKenna, was carrying Oakville's attacks with his passing and pressing. On 38 minutes he won the ball high up the field and forced a corner, but his effort from the corner kick went off the crossbar.

McKenna made another effort on 63 minutes, controlling the ball beautifully outside the box and creating his own shot, which was destined for the top corner but eventually denied by goalkeeper Kelvin Friseiro.

On 76 minutes, Woodbridge came closest to scoring, but Oakville's goalkeeper, Lucas Birstingl, similarly did not allow it: Tyrell Rayne received the ball after a classy flick-on from Damion Graham, dribbling a bit before firing his shot from close range but the Blue Devils keeper got a hand on it.

Oakville pushed hard for the away goal later in the game, finding corner after corner, but the game ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

The second leg of this Quarter-Final match-up will be played at Bronte Athletic Park, Oakville, on September 8 (4 p.m.).

(Çetin Cem Yılmaz)

(Photo: F10 Sports)

(Photo: F10 Sports)

(Photo: F10 Sports)

Nicholas Osorio (27') and Kevin Da Silva (34', 59') supplied the firepower for Alliance United against North Mississauga SC on Sunday, en route to a 3-1 away win for Alliance at Paramount Fine Foods Field, Mississauga.

The drums from the stands were beating to pump up the home team, but it was Alliance that fed off the energy to go up in the first leg of their 2019 League1 Ontario Quarter-Final match-up.

Alliance's Koosha Nazemi and North Mississauga's Darren Gertiesingh fired shots early in the game but to no avail as the score remained level, but Osorio broke the deadlock halfway through the first term. He sliced a low shot off the post, out of the reach of goalkeeper Jared Maloney as the ball crossed the goal line to make it 1-0.

Alliance continued to pile on the attack as Osorio fed Da Silva with a perfect pass into the box. Da Silva made a 360-degree spin to set up his shot, roofing it into the top of the net to double the lead.

The Panthers tried to claw back at the end of the first half as Sundin Esperance switched the play by floating a ball toward the left wing for Gertiesingh, but the assistant referee raised the flag for offside to kill the chance and the half.

Alliance picked up where they left off coming out the break, forcing Maloney to rush off his line for a sliding save in the 52nd minute. But the chances kept coming, and with just enough space behind the defensive line Osorio weighted another sublime through ball to Da Silva, who put the shot into a bottom corner for his brace.

Desperate for a goal, North Mississauga attacked with urgency as they swung in a cross from the right. Substitute Sebastian Lach (67') pounced on the chance, heading it in to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Panthers needed more, so they started to throw everything but the kitchen sink toward Denys Rylskyi's goal. Alliance responded by putting numbers behind the ball to protect their lead. Lach tried to speed through on goal for a breakaway, but Jacob Maurutto-Robinson made the last-ditch slide tackle to end the opportunity. Alliance held on until the bitter end to walk away with three crucial away goals and a potent two goal cushion.

Osorio finished the game with a goal and two assists, while Da Silva notched a brace in Alliance's first playoff game. Rylskyi made one save for the day while Maloney stopped four from going into the North Mississauga net.

Alliance now hold a big advantage going into the second leg of the tie, while North Mississauga have a hill to climb when they head to Centennial College, Toronto, on Thursday, September 5 (8:45 pm) for the second leg. 

North Mississauga will need to score three unanswered goals to win the tie outright. 

As with all 2019 League1 Ontario Quarter and Semi-Final match-ups, aggregate score over the two legs, and then the away goals tiebreaker - whereby away goals count as double in the case of an aggregate draw - will be the methods utilized to decide the outcome.

(Jonathan Cheng)