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Alliance, Oakville, Masters And London Progress To The 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Championship Semis

09/09/2019, 1:45pm EDT
By League1 Ontario staff

(Photo: F10 Sports)


(Photo: F10 Sports)


(Photo: Kevin Raposo Photography)

The 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Quarter-Final stage concluded on the weekend of Sept 6-8 with some thrilling battles, and set up the bracket for the two leg Semi-Final stage commencing on Saturday September 14. 

Alliance United booked their place after taking their 3-1 away leg advantage into a tense match-up with North Mississauga and emerging 4-1 winners on aggregate. 

Masters smashed Sigma FC 5-1 in the second leg, taking the tie 7-2 on aggregate score. 

The 2018 League1 Champions, Vaughan SC, lost the tie 4-3 on aggregate after a thrilling 2-2 battle with FC London. 

The 2015 and 2018 League1 Ontario winners, Oakville Blue Devils, won 2-nil over Woodbridge Strikers to go back into the final stages of the Championship.

Oakville will play Masters in the Semi-Final stage, while FC London and Alliance will match up on the other side of the bracket.

Find all details on the Semi-Finals below plus full Quarter-Final match recaps, full match video and a select run of action shots below!  


(Photo: Kevin Raposo Photography)


(Photo: Kevin Raposo Photography)


(Photo: Kevin Raposo Photography)

FC London quashed the Vaughan SC Azzurri comeback to move on to the 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Semi-Finals after a 2-2 draw on Sunday September 8 at North Maple Regional Park, Vaughan.

Penalty kicks were momentarily on the horizon after defending champions Vaughan levelled the score on aggregate late in the game, but celebrations were cut short as Mohammed Reza Nafar (85') patiently dribbled around his defender to slot his shot into the corner for the deciding goal. Nafar's strike gave London the 4-3 lead on aggregate, sending them to the next round for a Semi-Final match-up against Alliance United FC.

London entered the game with a 2-1 lead from the first leg, and they looked like they were hunting for more to start the second leg. Randy Ribeiro and Ethan Gopaul both had chances that flew over the crossbar while their team pinned Vaughan into their own half.

The Azzurri were content with absorbing pressure with 10 players behind the ball, but shots were getting through to goal, forcing Vaughan goalkeeper Matt George to make five saves within the opening 20 minutes.

The visitors continued to go for chance after chance, finally making a breakthrough minutes later. Sean Fawsitt fired a pass into Nafar, who tipped a nifty one-touch pass into the path of Tomas Alvarez (23'), putting it past George for the first goal of the match.

Vaughan eventually grew into the game to hold more possession of the ball, but they struggled to generate chances against London's defence, only managing one off-target shot to end the first half.

With 45 minutes to go, the Azzurri had their backs against the wall, but it was the urgency they needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Azzurri made their five substitutions quickly after the hour mark to change their game plan.

Vaughan finally struck gold on their first shot on target when 2019 Golden Boot winner, Maksym Kowal (74'), pounced on a spilled ball in the box to smash it in the net and make it 3-2 on aggregate.

Vaughan started to throw everyone forward to get the goal to even the game. Chaos in the London box led to a huge scramble for the ball, when Jarek Whiteman (83') rose out of the pack to head home the equalizer, much to the delight of the home fans in the stands, but it was shortlived as Nafar put the final nail in the coffin two minutes later.

With this outcome, the 2018 League1 Ontario Champions Vaughan Azzurri are eliminated from the 2019 playoffs after a thrilling two-legged affair with seven goals. Their campaign comes to an end after finishing in second place during the regular season.

After a roller coaster of a Quarter-Final, seventh-seed FC London move on to the next round to take on League1 Ontario's best defensive side in the regular season - Alliance United FC.

The two legs of this Semi-Final match-up will be:

Saturday September 14  (7 p.m.) at Mt. Joy, Markham

Friday September 20  (7:30 p.m.) at German Canadian Club, London

(Jonathan Cheng)


(Photo: Kevin Raposo Photography)


(Photo: Kevin Raposo Photography)


(Photo: Kevin Raposo Photography)

The Oakville Blue Devils advanced to the 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Semi-Finals after a tidy 2-0 win over the Woodbridge Strikers in the second leg of the Quarter-Final stage.

The first leg in Woodbridge ended in a nil-nil draw, leaving everything to play for in Sunday's second leg at Bronte Athletic Park, Oakville.

The match started with a fairly quick tempo as Oakville immediately looked for the go-ahead goal. They almost found it in the 12th minute, when Reshon Phillip fired a cracker of a shot off the crossbar.

Woodbridge also had their fair share of chances, with the best one coming in the 31st minute. Damion Graham's shot looked destined for the bottom corner, if not for the fantastic diving save of Lucas Birnstingl. Spencer Barber also missed a good chance in the 33rd minute, firing over the bar from close range.

Barber (38') would have a very similar chance only five minutes later, but this time the outcome would be completely different. The ball slid horizontally across the box and found Barber, who shot first time into the bottom corner. Oakville took the one nil lead into half-time.

The second half began to turn into a chippy affair with numerous cautions being shown by the referee. Woodbridge had a glorious chance to equalize in the 70th minute, when Emmanuel Issac was played through and shot on goal, but Birnstingl made yet another brilliant save to keep his team in the lead.

The tie was finally put to bed when another one of Oakville's youngsters, Daryl Armstrong (90'), received the ball and quickly turned and struck the ball into the back of the net.

Credit for the victory must also be given to Oakville's defensive line for limiting the number of chances their opponents were able to create in the final third.

Oakville will now advance to the Semi-Final stage and will play Masters FA.

The two legs of this Semi-Final match-up will be:

Saturday September 14 (7 p.m.) at L'Amoreaux Sports Centre, Toronto

Sunday September 22 (4 p.m.) at Bronte Athletic Park, Oakville

(Lucas Lucchetta)


(Photo: F10 Sports)


(Photo: F10 Sports)


(Photo: F10 Sports)

Daunte Walkes and Akeem Priestley scored from the penalty spot, Triston Frankson provided two assists for Francis Ameyaw, while Anthony Wright and Marc Jankovic hit the roof of the net with half volley finishes as Masters Futbol crushed Sigma FC 5-1 (7-2 in aggregate) to book their place in the 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Semi Final stage.

Masters had a 2-1 first-leg away lead, with goals from Samer Hamade and Adam Czerkawski, and the only goal by Sigma FC in that leg was scored by Manuel Morgado.

Early in this weekend's second leg, one the Masters' first leg goalscorers, Hamade, was forced to leave the field due to an injury and Walkes came in.

Ameyaw impressed with two early attempts: first, his low shot from a tight angle was parried out for a corner by Sigma FC keeper Jack Cristini, and then his header on the resulting corner was cleared off the line. 

Substitute Walkes was brought down by Francis Kwashie in the box on 37 minutes, and a penalty was awarded to Masters and a yellow card shown to the Sigma FC defender.

Walkes (38') stepped up for the penalty and converted it low, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Just after the restart Frankson burst toward the box and saw his low finish cleared off the line by Samuel Gardner after squirming under Cristini's body.

Minutes later Ameyaw (52') ran on to a Frankson long ball over the top and beat the onrushing Cristini outside the box to send the ball into the back of the empty net.

Soon after Frankson provided another assist, this time with a cross from the left side for Anthony Wright's (61') free header from six yards.

Sigma FC got one back within minutes as Markell Saddler (69') hit the back of the net with a header at the near post from Greg Moulopoulos' corner.

Shaquille Agard was then denied by Cristini in a one-on-one situation; at the other end, Saddler rattled the upright with a strike from inside the box.

An unmarked Jankovic (84'), who came off the bench on 68 minutes, put his name on the score sheet with a half volley from inside the box.

Three minutes before the end of regular time, Sigma FC were down to ten men as Gardner made his second bookable offence and was sent off.

Finally, Masters was given a penalty and substitute Priestley (90' + 2') sent it into the left bottom corner after stinging Cristini's gloves.

Masters FA will now advance to the Semi-Final stage and play Oakville Blue Devils.

The two legs of this Semi-Final match-up will be:

Saturday September 14 (7 p.m.) at L'Amoreaux Sports Centre, Toronto

Sunday September 22 (4 p.m.) at Bronte Athletic Park, Oakville

(Mahdi Ghaffarbarzi)


(Photo: F10 Sports)


(Photo: F10 Sports)


(Photo: F10 Sports)

Alliance United FC finished the job at Centennial College on Thursday September 5 night to advance to the 2019 League1 Ontario Semi-Final stage with a 1-0 victory over North Mississauga SC.

Alliance brought a 3-1 aggregate lead to start the second leg, and quickly got back into rhythm. Atchuthan Sivananthan threaded a pass over and between North Miss defenders to Christopher Donoso (12'), who chested and volleyed the ball for the opening and lone goal of the game.

With the win, Alliance move on to the semifinals to face the winner between Vaughan Azzurri and FC London. Alliance will have a further depleted roster with a straight red card issued to Terrell Roberts late in the game for a studs-up tackle.

After the opening goal, Alliance slowed down the tempo to suffocate a North Mississauga side that were desperate for goals. The Panthers responded with pressure from their forwards to create chances, but they couldn't get anything past keeper Praveen Ahilan, who made two saves in a physical half.

Many cautions were doled out as Alliance received three to North Mississauga's one.

Both teams made multiple substitutions coming out of the break, but the fouls continued. Artem Tesker cut in from the right to fire a shot, forcing Panthers' captain Jared Maloney to drop down for the save.

North Miss had another chance of their own off a rebound spilled by second-half Alliance keeper Denys Rylskyi, but the ensuing shot was smashed off the crossbar.

Neither side were able to carry the game away with any momentum as whistles blew the play dead constantly for the 40 total fouls in the game. Tensions ran high late in the game as Roberts was sent off.

Koosha Nazemi drove up the middle in the 85th to try to feed Donoso for the shot, but he swung and missed. With a three-goal deficit and little time left to play, North Miss continued to throw everything they had towards goal as their passionate away supporters kept the energy up.

Four minutes into added time Nazemi drove up the middle once again, this time launching a shot from distance that was destined for the top corner. Maloney reacted quickly to make the huge diving save and finished the night with four saves.

Ahilan and Rylskyi combined their performances in each half to keep the clean sheet for Alliance with three saves.

After the match, North Mississauga's Rahim Thorpe received a red card after a heated conversation with the officials.

North Mississauga bow out of their first appearance in the League1 Ontario playoffs.

Alliance United move on to play FC London in the 2019 League1 Ontario Men's Semi-Final stage.

The two legs of this Semi-Final match-up will be:

Saturday September 14  (7 p.m.) at Mt. Joy, Markham

Friday September 20  (7:30 p.m.) at German Canadian Club, London

(Jonathan Cheng)

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