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Match Recap: Vaughan Azzurri 1 - 1 North Mississauga Panthers

By League1 Ontario staff, 07/03/17, 2:15PM EDT


Vaughan Azzurri women were able to come back and grab a point after a 1-1 draw with North Mississauga Panthers on Matchweek Ten.

North Mississauga started the match with two good opportunities to score within the first ten minutes, but they just couldn't guide the ball past Vaughan’s Anna Karpenko.

The momentum then shifted into Vaughan’s favour, with the Azzurri creating two great chances of their own, but they were repelled by the stellar play of North Mississauga keeper Vanessa Fiore.

Just past the half-hour North Mississauga was handed a golden opportunity after Karpenko caught a Panthers striker following a break on goal, resulting in a penalty kick.

Laura Twidle (4') made no mistake from the spot and slotted home her fourth of the season.

Laura Twidle (Photo: Martin Bazyl)

With Vaughan's forward Cassandre Van Bakel having to be removed from the match due to an ankle injury just before the interval, Vaughan head coach Carmine Isacco said he tried to have Anna Kowalczyk as the lone striker.

However, North Mississauga had a very strong and compact defensive line, which made it very difficult for the Poland U-19 striker to find room to operate.

"I'm not sure that was the best answer because she [Anna] just matched up against their strongest players, which is their centre backs."

Vaughan would push forward with authority in the last minutes of the first half, but failed to finish and get shots past Fiore.

Isacco mentioned his team was a bit slower compared to their opponents to start the match, and that he had to make changes to try and get a goal back.

"We had to make some adjustments, but that was no excuse for what we came out flat our first twenty minutes. [North Mississauga] came out with some energy and they came out with some purpose - we didn't."

Vanessa Fiore (Photo: Martin Bazyl)

After making two substitutions during the half, Vaughan were finally able to get on the scoreboard following Colleen Beesely's (52') rocket shot.

The Vaughan midfielder made a great run and first touch to take down a long ball and slot right over an outstretched Fiore.

The Azzurri would take control of the match after Beesely's tying goal, but failed to get anything by North Mississauga’s deep line and strong defending.

North Mississauga would be awarded the last corner kick of the match in the third minute of added time - and were almost able to leave McNaughton Turf with all three points - but a Panthers' header inside the penalty area just soared over the bar to keep the final scoreline at one a piece.

After the match North Mississauga coach Sam Medeiros was happy that his side were able to fight hard against a strong Vaughan side and not drop off even after giving up the equalizing goal in the second half.

"We had a chat [with the players] and we told them to pull up their socks, roll up their sleeves and get down to business," said Medeiros.

"We know that Carmine [Isacco] had some impact players on the bench. When we saw they were going to bring in the other players, we still stayed with our system."

When asked if they changed tactics after Vaughan scored, Medeiros said he wanted the players to defend and wait to break on counter attacks.

"We just stayed back and looked for opportunities to play over the top."

Colleen Beesley (Photo: Martin Bazyl)

As for Vaughan, Isacco mentioned that what hurt his team during this match was their inability to finish chances.

"We had many chances to win the game, but we left ourselves a little open in the back. We had a lot of players playing out of position, which is part of it, but that's not an excuse."

"In the end, [North Mississauga] worked hard," he added. "They did well and we just didn’t have enough quality."

With the draw, the Azzurri moved one point ahead of second place West Ottawa SC after eight matches played.

Vaughan Azzurri will next play Toronto Azzurri Blizzard on July 9 at Azzurri Village, Toronto. 

North Mississauga will next play Durham United FA on July 8 at Hershey Centre, Mississauga.