A ten-player FC London side got a late strike from league-leading forward Jade Kovacevic (90') to beat Vaughan Azzurri 2-1 and go top of the women's division with only a handful of matches left in the season.
"First off, early in the game I thought that both teams had their share of possession," said FC London head coach, Mike Marcoccia.
"I thought we had the better of the chances but then as the game went on I was very impressed by Vaughan. They began to outplay us in certain areas. I was very impressed with their ability to get into the final third and create chances. I never really felt comfortable or that we were in control."
FC London drew first blood at Vaughan's McNaughton Turf ground after Marisa Oliveira (45') finished a neat cut-back from Chelsea Zavitz just before the interval, but the Azzurri must have felt everything was going their way when Sarah Wong (48') equalized just after the re-start and London's Daniella Strano was shown her second caution only ten minutes before the final whistle.
"Basically I thought the game was quite even until they got the late goal in the first half," said Vaughan team official, Jordan Feliciano. "We knew that we had to come out and get the goal, so we put a bit of pressure on them and thank God we got the goal early."
"Then the game flat-lined a little bit and we didn't take advantage of being a player up, which was a bit of naivety on our part, and were caught on the counter with ten seconds left," he revealed.
"We didn't adjust until about fifteen minutes before the end and then we decided to go a little bit more attacking. We put in an extra striker and thought, especially after they went a player down, that we could go steal this one."
With the win, FC London went one point clear of North Mississauga SC at the top of the table and have will control their destiny heading into a final three match pattern.
"We continue to take it one game at a time," said Marcoccia.
"The standings will now suggest we have a good chance of winning it, but as you saw today no team is going to give it to us easily and I assume with the rest of the teams involved at the top of the race it will be the same. Today was a really hard match for us and I expect Unionville, North Mississauga and Darby to continue to give us a hard time."
"I don't think that anything is even close to being completed at this point."
Vaughan Azzurri will next play Aurora FC on September 24 at McNaughton Turf, Vaughan.
FC London will next play Unionville Milliken SC on September 23 at German Canadian Club, London.