Mon Aug 11
Written By: Kelly, Tim
The Woodbridge Strikers came in with a plan and worked it to perfection in hammering Masters FA Saints 4-0 Saturday night in League 1 Ontario Soccer action,
Forwards Viktor Anastasov (two goals) and Julian Uccello (one goal) shredded the Saints defence in the first half as Woodbridge went into the locker room with a commanding 3-0.
The Saints had trouble getting much offence going, and were too busy worrying about a strong Strikers' midfield and the Woodbridge forward duo doing more damage up front.
Yet, after the break, the home side were able to start pressing more until Woodbridge added a fourth goal on a free kick around the hour mark, struck by Mario Kovacevic, that seemed to fool Saints' keeper Shane Lopez.
Anastasov and Uccello found gaps in the Saints defence early on, running on to balls to slide home easy goals. Those holes were plugged too late to save the game for Masters.
The Strikers' force were happy to enjoy the win.
Uccello, a team veteran at twenty-seven, who has a pair of younger brothers playing for TFC Academy in League 1, said his club was ready for action in Scarborough on Saturday night.
“From the first second... we looked to overpower them with size, with quickness, with everything that’s needed with regards to winning the game, which we did.
“After a goal by Vik, we got a quick second goal, basically it boost[ed] our momentum, lower[ed] theirs. At the end of that time the game’s done,” said Uccello.
Indeed, the first three goals came less than twenty minutes into the game.
Anastasov, who notched two goals and formed a fine partnership with Uccello, said the team practised well during the week and had a good pre-game talk.
“We were ready to play tonight,” Anastasov said.
For Woodbridge coach Peter Pinizzotto, the clean sheet is just as important as the four goals scored.
“We played very well defensively and it was difficult to really break us down. Nice to see us not giving up any goals and basically that speaks very well to how we play as a team,” Pinizzotto said.
The coach said he sees a trend of improvement based on continuity and consistency that comes from having players learning a system and playing together.
“At the beginning of the season we had a lot of new players, it was their first time playing together so we had a rough start at times, but right now we’re doing really well,” he said.
The win pushes the Strikers into a tie for second place with Sigma FC with nineteen points on six wins, one draw and three losses after ten matches played, five points behind leaders TFC Academy. Masters are in eighth place in the nine-team league, tied with ANB Futbol with seven points on two wins, one draw and eight losses after eleven games played.
Woodbridge doesn’t play again until Saturday, Aug. 23 when they make the trip to Windsor for a match with the Stars at McHugh Stadium at 7 p.m.
For Masters, the next match is Friday, Aug. 15 at Kinsmen Park in Pickering against Durham United FC at 8 p.m.