It was a classic tale of two halves at the Matchweek 16 fixture between high-flying top four sides Toronto FC III and North Toronto Nitros at Kia Training Centre, as first TFC's Daniel Da Silva (9', 49') put away a brace before the Nitros' Niklas Bauer (53', 56', 63') hammered home a hat-trick to claim all three points and a 3-2 final result.
"I can't really walk us through it because I am still trying to understand it myself," said Toronto FC III head coach, Danny Dichio.
"It was a game that we were up in, and pretty comfortable, and we knew that we were going to play against a team today that really sits deep in their defensive block. I thought we managed it ok and played with good composure, but then some defensive "bonehead" moves - which I called them a different name in the locker just now - really cost us today."
"I don't think it was the opponent that really broke us down, I think it was some defensive frailties that really cost us," he added.
"We kept pegging away, we kept creating chances, but I'm disappointed because we have been defending very well lately as a group. I told them I would give them credit where it was due, but today it was really us that cost ourselves. They didn't do anything that really opened us up."
North Toronto played with a clear focus on compact defensive lines and a clinical counter, but for the first part of the match were regularly stymied. Forward Niklas Bauer had the keeper beat with one shot, but a gymnastic effort from Junior Reds defender Rocco Romeo saw him trap the ball with his back while falling and still clear his lines.
TFC's Da Silva was bubbling in form for much of the early going, profiting off some confusion in the Nitros box for his first, before combining wonderfully with Cyrus Rollocks for his second.
"[Dan] is a boy that has a real high ceiling of potential," said Dichio.
"He still has a lot to do in his game, but he is understanding what we want from him in his role, he has lovely balance, good technique and you could see today - he can finish very well."
"Da Silva and Rollocks have a good understanding together and breaking teams down and it was just a shame that we didn't push on and maybe get that goal that would have killed off the game."
"When you keep a game at 2-0 you are inviting the opponent to think they just need one goal and it gives them a little momentum," he added.
And momentum is exactly what the determined Nitros side found in the second half, with Bauer dispatching a hat-trick, which included a penalty, within ten minutes.
"It was great to see from our team that they didn't give up when we were down 2-0, and instead kept to the same game-plan," said Nitros assistant coach, Ilya Orlov.
"We defended and played in transition and luckily Nick [Bauer] scored three quick goals. All credit to the guys, it was very hot and they played very well in the second half in particular. The effort was great."
"[Bauer] in particular came over from Vaughan to us and over the last few games he has played well but didn't score," he explained.
"Today, luckily, three goals in ten minutes was really good and he is obviously our man of the match."
Toronto FC III will next play FC London on August 27 at German Canadian Club, London.
North Toronto Nitros will next play Toronto Skillz on August 20 at Esther Shiner, Toronto.