Oakville Blue Devils secured a 2-1 win over Sigma F.C in the L1 Cup Group B opener on Wednesday night.
Anthony Novak potted the winner in the 86th minute, following up on a 69th minute equalizer from teammate Anthony Dorans. Sigma had initially taken the lead in the 52nd minute, courtesy of Kwame Awuah.
"This was Kwame Awuah's first game of the season for us since returning over the weekend from the University of Connecticut," said Sigma head coach Bobby Smyrniotis. "He provided our team good balance in midfield and a constant attacking threat. He took his goal well with a well timed run and powerful finish. It was great to have him back in the squad as he will be an important piece as our squad takes full shape."
But Sigma could not sustain the early lead, and keeping League1 Ontario scoring leader Anthony Doran out of the scoring summary proved to be impossible.
"We anticipated a fast paced and hard working Sigma team and that's what we got," said Blue Devils head coach, Duncan Wilde. "We made several changes at half time in an effort to maintain good energy through midfield, but that backfired when we went behind early in the second half. The team showed a great response and equalized through a shot from the top of the box from Anthony Doran. Our continued pressure let to us hitting the crossbar three times in quick succession, before Anthony Novak scored what was to become the winning goal from close range."
Smyrniotis pointed to a busy fixture list as a current challenge, as well as changes regularly being made to the squad.
"We have a scheduling log jam and will play four matches in eleven days (two league and two cup)<" said Smyrniotis. "This is challenging early in the year as we are still working on integrating players back into the squad. With the amount of games coming up we need a proper roster rotation to keep our players fresh and healthy."
Both Sigma and Oakville will not have long to wait to refresh the contest. Both clubs meet again again in League1 Ontario league play on May 31 at Sheridan College, 4 p.m.