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London Comes Out On Top After Eight Goal Thriller With Darby

06/10/2018, 1:00pm EDT
By Mike Albert

Three second half goals from FC London sent the home fans home happy and soggy on Saturday afternoon after FC London pulled away in the second half to win 5-3 over Darby FC and remain unbeaten at home.

In the first half, it was back and forth as each team was trying to take control of the game.

FC London looked to play through their central midfielders and drive forward in numbers, while Darby FC looked to counter and take advantage of set pieces.

Inside ten minutes, FC London's James Pucci played a ball down the wing to Ethan Gopaul, who crossed the ball into the box to find Connor Wilson (9'). Wilson met the header well and powered the ball past Darby FC keeper, Matt Zaikos.

The FC London goal seemed to spark Darby FC as they responded by pressing the FC London midfield and looking for turnovers.

The increase in tempo quickly resulted in a FC London foul. Darby FC's free kick was a long ball behind the FC London defence that allowed Darby forward Le Rohne Young (15') to run on and head the ball past FC London keeper Anthony Sokalski.

Darby FC continued to push forward and Adrian Gallo soon played a great ball over the top of the FC London defence to set the visitors through again. 

Kashiff Dejonge (22') showed great skill by taking the ball on the chest and then calmly slotting the ball past Sokalski.

The end to end contest quickly resumed with London equalizing after a ball squirted loose to FC London Wilson (30') in the six-yard box and he nailed the ball past Zaikos to pull FC London even at 2-2.

The first half was not only full of goals, but it was very physical affair as well. FC London accumulated five fouls and Darby FC accumulated six fouls. One yellow card was given to Darby FC's Michael DiRiennzo.

(Photo: Martin Bazyl Photography)

In the second half, FC London started to take control of possession but couldn't find the back of the net.

The home crowd was silenced when Darby FC's Dejonge played a ball across six-yard box and the ball slipped through Sokalski's hands. Darby's Vincenzo Sasso (68') was rewarded for making a run forward as the ball bounced to his feet and he made no mistake with the finish. Darby FC had a 3-2 lead with just over twenty minutes to go.

FC London quickly found opportunities to get back in the game, however, and it was the captain, Randy Ribeiro (71'), to a tee up a laser from 30 yards out that Zaikos could do nothing about.

In the 81st minute Sokalski redeemed himself as he was able to come out and cut down the angle on Darby FC forward De Jonge, who was played into the box but couldn’t locate the finish. The save inspired the FC London offence and their push forward seemed to drain the energy of Darby FC.

In the 85th minute, a Darby FC player was whistled for a hand-ball in the Darby FC 18 yard box.

FC London Mohammad Reza Nafar stepped and tried to put the ball low to the right side, but Darby FC keeper Zaikos was up for the challenge and got down quick to push the ball wide of the post.

But the Darby celebrations wouldn't last long.

After the ensuing FC London corner was cleared by Darby FC, 54th minute substitute Aaron Schneebeli crossed the ball into the box to 75th minute substitute Belal Halbouni (86'), who headed the cross into the back of the net to give FC London a 4-3 lead.

Bare minutes rolled by before FC London Ben Vfyschaft took the ball down the right side and played a ball across. 

Teammate Nafar (90') took the pass well and placed the ball in the low right corner past Zaikos to seal the game.

Physical play continued in the second half with Darby FC accumulating ten fouls while FC London accumulated three fouls. Darby FC was given two yellow cards (Vince Sasso and Christian Moncrieffe).

FC London will look to continue their home winning streak when they host OSU Force on Saturday June 16th (4 p.m.) at German Canadian Club, London.

Darby FC will look to bounce back from two consecutive losses when they travel to take on Sanjaxx Lions on Saturday June 16 (2 p.m.) at Monarch Park, Toronto. 

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