FC London score three unanswered in second half to grab a 3-1 victory over newcomers DeRo United FC.
It was a star-studded affair for both sides. DeRo United lead by Canadian women's national team member Deanne Rose - who helped Canada win their second Olympic bronze medal in August 2016 - and FC London who had two former Canadian youth national team members in back-to-back League1 Ontario women's MVP Jade Kovacevic and Ashley Campbell.
The first half saw the star forwards carry their respective teams offensively, as both looked to open the scoring. FC London controlled the possession early on and tried to play the ball over the top or out wide.
In the early going, DeRo United’s Rose was played a great diagonal ball and was able to deliver a smashing strike, but FC London keeper Emily Gillet pushed the shot over the bar.
In the 23rd minute London had a great opportunity when Kovacevic broke free at the top of the box and fired a rocket to the top corner but DeRo keeper Victoria Savage was equal to the task and pushed the ball away for a corner.
DeRo United would get on the scoreboard first, as Rose (43') was played in the box and powered her low hard shot past the keeper before the half.
Photo: Martin Bazyl
In the 2nd half, FC London continued to move the ball and pressured their opponents looking for an equalizer. In 49th minute London’s Kovacevic stole the ball 20 yards outside DeRo's box, drove left and cut a low shot back across goal that hit the post and was gathered by Savage.
FC London would be rewarded for their high pressured tactics when Kovacevic collected a loose ball inside the 18-yard box and freed herself up for a shot that hit the post and crossed the goaline to equalize the match at 1-1.
As the match wore on, the visiting DeRo side looked fatigued as was evidenced by their six fouls in the 2nd half.
In the 71st minute, FC London’s other star forward Ashley Campbell demonstrated why the reigning champs had a dangerous duo up top. Campbell was played a ball over the top, used her speed to beat her marker and calmly put the ball behind the keeper to give her side the lead.
Right before the final whistle was blown, second-half sub Kayla McQueen (90') scored to seal the victory as DeRo was pushing forward looking for the late equalizer.
Photo: Martin Bazyl
FC London will look to continue their undefeated streak on May 24 (8:30 p.m.) when they host another first year club in the Oakville Blue Devils.
Click here to keep up on all the news, goals, wins and statistics for FC London women on their team page.
As for DeRo United, they begin their 2018 Women's League1 Cup journey on May 26 (4:00 p.m.) when head to Wesley Clover Turf to take on West Ottawa.
Click here to keep up on all the news, goals, wins and statistics for DeRo United FC on their team page.