Sat May 31
Written By: Rollins, Duane
The points were shared in the League1 opener as ten man Toronto FC Academy held on for a 1-1 draw with Vaughan Azzuri at the Ontario Soccer Centre field on Friday May 30th.
Despite being down a man for nearly 80 minutes the young academy side impressed with some skillful play against a larger and physically stronger Azzuri.
Before going down a man, TFCA was controlling the midfield battle and had the majority of the ball.
Dylan Sacramento was particularly impressive in an attacking midfield role and he proved to be the player to score the league's historic first goal in the 10th minute.
Linking up with Molham Babouli, Sacramento managed to control the ball just beyond a stretched Vaughan back-line. He would make no mistake firing it home to give the Reds the early lead.
Sacramento said it was an honour to score the league's first ever goal.
"It's a new league. It's great to get my name on the score sheet anytime. It's great," he said.
Sacramento gave a lot of credit to Vaughan.
"I actually played with a lot if them with York (University)," he said. "There's a lot if great players on that team."
The TFCA lead wouldn't last long, however. Just five minutes later, against the run of play, TFCA defender Mateo Restrepo clipped his man who had slipped in behind. Judged to be the last man back there was only one call to make – straight red.
Making matters worse former TFCA player Jonathan Lao scored on the ensuing free kick with a hard blast from 19 yards.
Despite chances by both sides, that would be all the scoring the crowd of about 1,000 would see.
After the game Vaughan head coach Carmine Isacco lamented his team's inability to break down ten man TFCA.
"The tension was definitely there," he said. "It was a lot of kids making there first appearance at this level.
"I thought we did enough to win – we obviously missed some sitters at the end – but give them some credit, they obviously have some quality players."
All in all it was a game that League1 commissioner Dino Rossi was happy to see launch the league.
"I was really happy with how everything worked out tonight," he said following the game. "It was a great game. We have some amazing individual skill on display."