Men's west division leaders Oakville Blue Devils came back from two goals down to Toronto FC III and earned a valuable point following a 3-3 draw at Kia Training Ground on Sunday afternoon.
"We struggled today to get any game rhythm," said Oakville head coach, Duncan Wilde.
"They are a really good side. Lots of tempo in their play, really brave to attack our back four, and I think they scored one of the best goals I've seen all season for the second goal."
"We just had to regroup at time and make some changes, but we've got two of our centre-backs out, our goalkeeper injured, Judah [Hernandez] unavailable - so we were a little bit depleted when we thought we were going to go full-strength. It took some time to find your game rhythm, so we just changed what we did second half and tried to get it forward a little quicker and once again it paid off for us."
(Photo: F10 Studio)
Felipe Vilela (7') opened the scoring for Oakville with a penalty inside the first ten minutes, but then it was all TFC as Cyrus Rollocks (19', 55') and Daniel Da Silva (21') scored three unanswered goals.
"I said to them at half-time that it was a very good reaction but I don't actually think they were that fazed by it," said TFC III head coach, Danny Dichio.
"We're obviously missing a lot of boys today and we're going to face some adversity at times so I just wanted them to stay with the objectives of the game and not get too downhearted if we conceded a goal or made a mistake. They did that and reacted very well after the early penalty decision and I thought they played some lovely stuff."
Stephen Ademolu (Photo: F10 Studio)
The stage was set for second-half sub Stephen Ademolu (85'), who scored one just minutes from full-time and forced a late own goal in the second minute of extra time.
"We signed him last year and he didn't kick a ball for us because of his Achilles tendon injury, so he's just come in the last few weeks and he gives us a little more firepower when we need it and it's great to have," said Wilde.
The result puts Oakville six points clear of Sigma FC in the men's west division, an important mathematical difference as Sigma hold one game in hand on the leaders.
(Photo: F10 Studio)
"It's tight and we can't afford a slip-up," said Wilde.
"That's a big point for us. I just said to the team that point is like three points, especially when you're two goals down and at a place like this. To find the character to come back and keep plugging away at it."
"It's a bit ugly, it's not how we want to play, but TFC force you to do that. They're so quick and they move the ball so quickly we just had to do what was required today to get a result out of it."
"We said before the game that a point is not a bad result here. Three points if we could but we'll go home happy, it keeps us in front, and now it lowers out total of what we need."
Toronto FC III will next play North Mississauga SC on September 23 at Hershey Centre Indoor, Mississauga.
Oakville Blue Devils will next play FC London on September 24 at Bronte, Oakville.