FC London and current league-leading top scorer Jade Kovacevic (34') scored in the first half against Toronto Azzurri Blizzard, but the London side was stopped in their tracks just a minute from the final whistle with a spectacular strike from Jalana Ellis (90' + 2') to knot the final scoreline at 1-1.
"I think we knew going in that they are a better team than what we had today," said Blizzard head coach, Joe Parolini.
"We were playing a lot of 03s, 04s and 02s, so we decided to park the bus and we worked on some tactical things that I wanted the young ones to do. Unfortunately we made two mistakes on the same play in the first half and it cost us a goal, but it was equalized in the second half on one of their mistakes."
"All in all I was happy with the way the young girls understood zonal defending and we did a job and got a result. So far we are the only team that has a win and a tie against London so I think it only looks promising for these young ones on the defensive side of the game."
FC London had over 70 per cent possession in the match, but struggled to make it count in crucial areas of the pitch. Head coach Mike Marcoccia identified a key reason for the disconnected attacking play.
(Photo: Martin Bazyl)
"I was really proud of my team," he said, "and although I don't use a lot of excuses or talk about external factors, the pitch was really bad today."
"Our team still attempted to build up and play on the ground, which I was really impressed with under the conditions, but every time we got the ball into the final third there was a skip or a bounce to the ball. I don't want to make excuses, but one could go back and look at the video and see what happened. I'm really proud of them for continuing to play and try and build on the surface."
The draw stalled FC London in third place in the women's division table, just as the 2016 League1 Ontario champions were in a late-season charge for the title. The result puts the Londoners seven points back of leaders North Mississauga, but with two matches in hand on the leaders.
"When we come up against difficult opponents we need to stick to our gameplan and execute our gameplan just as we would against any opponent," said Marcoccia.
"We need to continue doing what we have been doing and despite being upset and disappointed after that game, I'm in no way concerned that we have veered off of our goal."
Toronto Azzurri Blizzard will next play Durham United FA on August 30 at Kinsmen Park, Pickering.
FC London will next play Sanjaxx Lions on September 9 at German Canadian Club, London.