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Aurora Men Beat Sanjaxx 4-1 On Penalties In L1 Cup First Round

05/19/2016, 6:00pm EDT
By League1 Ontario staff

Aurora United FC completed a club L1 Cup double on Tuesday night as the men's came back from one down to draw Sanjaxx Lions on the stroke of full-time, before winning 4-1 in kicks from the penalty spot.

Aurora's Jonathan Parolini got the winning penalty, as Aurora stuck four penalties in a row, while Sanjaxx's lone successful penalty was their third take by Hilliard Serrao. 

"To be honest I was very pleased by our performance," said Aurora team official Dave DiPlacido. "From the opening five to ten minutes we set the tempo, and we were very organized, and created a number of chances. I couldn't ask more from the boys, I thought it was a great win. We had to come back, but that made it all the sweeter." 

Sanjaxx were left with only ten men after a second caution was given to Mykola Nechyporuk (13', 69'), but had good reason to think they had weathered the storm following a beautiful free kick from La'el Daniel (72').

Still, Aurora were persistent in their efforts to equalize. Christopher Jacovou (90') got the home side the important equalizer at the death of the match, giving Aurora valuable momentum going into the tie-breaking penalties. 

"I thought we were in control of the game and unfortunately we down after a man was sent off," said Sanjaxx head coach, Peter Mellon.

"In the second half we got a goal, a very good goal, and we just conceded in the last minute of added time. It was just unfortunate."

Sanjaxx's Daniel was the first to shoot, followed by Babour Zullimullah and Serrao. Only Serrao could find a way past the Aurora keeper.

For Aurora, Simon Adej, Zakaraiae Mahrady, Kaleb Powell and Parolini stuck in penalties one after the other.  

"Their goalkeeper guessed the right way on three of them and got his fingers on two of them," said Mellon. "I don't want to take anything away from their performance though, they came back and played well in the final minutes."

Aurora will now move on to the second round of the L1 Cup to play Vaughan Azzurri at a date and location TBD.

"Once you get any game into injury time and you are behind the eight ball but get a result - it's very exciting," concluded Di Placido. 

"We knew we were a man up, and felt if we moved it around we could find a chance. We knicked one, and it was very exciting."

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