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Late Strike From London's Melo Secures Valuable Away Draw With TFC III

04/30/2018, 7:00pm EDT
By Johnny Stancati

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

Toronto FC III tied FC London 1-1 in a tight, aggressive, end-to-end encounter in Matchweek 1 of this League1 Ontario season.

FC London began the match up for the task, controlling the early tempo as Toronto FC III settled at the BMO Training Ground.

Referee Krampert set the tone early with a yellow card on ten minutes with FC London's Halbouni putting in a late challenge while closing down the TFC III counter.

In total, eight cautions were shown throughout the match.

In the opening 20 minutes, Gianluca Catalano was forced into making two crucial saves that kept the score level.

TFC III grew into the match throughout the half, connecting at a fast pace and finding success building into wide areas.

At the interval, the score remained 0-0.

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

FC London started the second half similar to the first, resulting in a few half-chances.

London were awarded a penalty in the 57th minute when captain Randy Ribeiro stepped up and saw his shot go narrowly wide to the right.

TFC III took advantage when Luca Petrasso played a ball through for Kai Martin who played a lovely square ball for Shaan Hundal (68'), firing it past Anthony Sokalski.

London grabbed their equalizer when Patrick Melo (83') curled his effort into the top corner past Catalano.

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

Final score - 1-1.

Hundal opened his account after returning to TFC III after a season with TFC II. It is unclear how long he'll remain with the side though expect him to continue scoring if he does.

Luca Petrasso was ever electric for TFC III going forward, running at the London defense for large spells. Newcomers Mehdi Essoussi and Kai Martin also impressed.

London's Aaron Schneebeli was ever-present in the heart of the London defense, with captain Randy Ribeiro dictating and driving through the midfield of the pitch, playing in a much higher role than seasons past.

Both teams will feel as if they could and should have walked away with three points, with London missing some early opportunities and TFC III losing a lead at home.

In 2017, TFC III took 24 out of a possible 27 points after going ahead at home so London should walk away feeling happy with the point.

TFC III visit Sanjaxx Lions on May 6th (2 p.m.) at Monarch Park Stadium.

FC London will have 14 days to prepare for their away fixture to the Woodbridge Strikers on May 13th (5 p.m.) at Vaughan Grove 1.

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

(Photo: Martin Bazyl)

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