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De Sousa Hat-Trick Completes Dramatic 4-4 Comeback For Masters Over Skillz

08/20/2018, 6:15pm EDT
By Jonathan Cheng

A pair of penalties late in the match helped bag Jose De Sousa (23', 80', 90') a hat-trick as Masters Futbol completed the comeback away at Birchmount Stadium, drawing 4-4 with Toronto Skillz on Sunday.

A handball and a holding call in the box led to the collapse of the Skillz lead.

De Sousa's spot kicks had Skillz' goalkeeper Peter Katsaras diving the wrong way twice, increasing the forward's total to five goals in his last two games.

Skillz players argued with officials about the crucial calls, but their pleas were left unheard as Masters FA escaped the Scarborough derby with their pride and a solitary point.

De Sousa opened the scoring in the first half after Milos Scepanovic dribbled past the defender, unleashing a slick pass across the box for the Saints' forward to finish.

Skillz didn't waste time in equalizing after earning a free kick in the Saints' half. Captain Tim Mahabir (37') curled a free kick over the wall and into the top corner.

The home team continued to push forward as Vithunan Sivakumar set up a ball in the middle for Michael Jashan (39'), finishing it into the far corner to take the 2-1 lead going into half-time.

With energy on their side, Toronto Skillz continued to attack, this time with substitute Mohamad Abdallah (48', 64').

Master's goalkeeper Spiridon Koskinas made an initial diving save on the first shot attempt, but Abdallah tapped in the rebound to extend the lead to 3-1.

The super sub struck paydirt later in the half, staying onside to get a one-on-one chance with Koskinas, who couldn't stop the ball from going to the far post and in. The Saints needed a miracle to mount a comeback.

All hope looked to be lost in the 71st minute after a trip in the box led to a Skillz penalty call. Abdullah stepped up to the spot hoping to earn his hat trick from off the bench, but Koskinas dove to save the spot kick and the ensuing rebound. The former Skillz keeper crushed his old team's momentum, and the huge double save ignited the fire that led to Masters' resurgence.

After assisting the first goal, Milos Scepanovic (74') whittled the deficit down to two with a tidy header, and De Sousa's penalty kicks sealed the deal for an away side that have never lost a League1 Ontario match to Toronto Skillz.

The fierce east-end rivals have a history of physical match-ups, and Sunday's iteration of the Scarborough derby was no different with a total of 25 fouls and five yellow cards.

Toronto Skillz (3-9-1) have their winning ways cut short with their first draw of the season. The result puts them in 14th place with 10 points, seven short of a playoff spot. Their goal differential stays at -25 (15 GF, 40 GA).

In one week, Skillz will travel west to McHugh Stadium Field, Windsor, for their last away match of the season, set to battle with Windsor TFC on August 26 (4:00 p.m.).

Masters Futbol (2-4-6) have yet to win since the beginning of June, but they leave Birchmount Stadium in high spirits after completing an improbable comeback. They're in 12th place with 12 points, five away from post-season soccer. Their goal differential remains at -2 (22 GF, 24 GA).

The Saints have only won one out of five home games this season, but they'll look to reverse the curse at L'Amoreaux, Toronto, when they take on Unionville Milliken S.C. on August 25 (8:00 p.m.).

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