Oakville Blue Devils polished off Pro Stars FC 3-2 and ended Matchweek 20 eight points clear at the top of the men's west division, but tensions mounted in the second half as a Pro Stars side still searching for a win found their legs and began to comeback.
"In the first half we fell asleep and conceded the first goal, but in the second half we changed and began to play our game," said Pro Stars team official, Indrit Fortuzzi. "We scored the two goals and were near to take one point."
"We know we are playing against one of the best teams in the league, but we need to play our game too," he added. "We wanted to move the ball quickly and not focus on the result. We scored two goals and maybe if we got one more it could have been different but that is football."
Taylor McNamara (1'), Mathew Santos (58') and Stephen Ademolu (82') ultimately got the three goals the Blue Devils would need to get the result, but a second half rally by Pro Stars' George Owusu (64') and Kibwe Dyer (70') made it interesting with two goals in six minutes.
"It was a typical end of season game," said Oakville Blue Devils head coach, Duncan Wilde.
"We expected a battle because we think a lot of the teams in the lower part of the division are excited to come play us and Pro Stars put on a very competitive performance today."
"I thought we created more than enough chances to put the game away early. We hit a crossbar and two posts in the first half and a post in the second half and it just wasn't going for us. At the end of the day we always have some firepower and I thought we thoroughly deserved our points."
With Sigma FC right on their heels, Oakville Blue Devils must ensure there are no slip-ups in the final stretch of their season. The 2015 League1 Ontario champions hold their destiny in hand with a significant lead on points.
"We had a very young bench today, which is a great opportunity for them to see this, but I think we should be back with a bit more of a core look next week for the game at TFC," said Wilde.
"We're just taking it one game at a time at this stage. There are four games left now, and four wins will win us the division, so we'll go game by game."
Oakville Blue Devils will next play Toronto FC III on September 17 at Kia Training Centre, Toronto.
Pro Stars FC will next play Toronto Skillz on September 13 at Avondale Stadium, Brampton.