Kingston Clippers were minutes away from a significant victory over second place Vaughan Azzurri, before the Azzurri pulled out a last ditch comeback and drew their hosts 2-2. Highlights from the match are available below.
The League1 Ontario contest was a showcase matchup to culminate a gala weekend in Kingston for youth tournament, the Ambassador Cup. Over 150 fans were in attendence at the picturesque Queens Univeristy pitch, and they were treated to a thrilling back-and-forth matchup.
"This was the best match we played all season," said Kingston head coach, Christian Hoefler. "Once we scored the first goal of the match, it appeared as though the victory was in sight. Adding the second goal gave belief of this target. Unfortunately, the quality Vaughan displayed in the dying embers of the match gained them a tie."
With only a minute separating them, Kingston forward duo Eric Koskins (54') and Ryan McCurdy (55') deposited a quick couple goals in the second half that seemed destined to give the home side a massive win.
"It was another solid performance up top for Eric Koskins as a leader and the first goal scorer," said Hoefler. "Ryan McCurdy buried the second goal with authority, and was a continuous nuisance to their defense, while right back Julian Piccioli delivered pin-point accurate service to our strikers, and on set pieces."
But the Azzurri couldn't be held back forever, and perhaps it was no surprise that current League1 golden boot leader Joey Cicchillo bagged the first, while forward Mario Kovacevic snagged the equalizer.
"Everything for Vaughan went through this player, Mario Kovacevic," said Hoefler. "Great feet and technical ability. It took extreme focus from our defenders to offset his play."
"Vaughan are extremely gifted with pace and technical ability. We had to ensure we were well organized defensively and patient with our attack."
Kingston plays at home again on Saturday July 11, 2 p.m. vs. Woodbridge Strikers, whileVaughan hosts Pro Stars on Sunday July 12, 2 p.m.