July 19, 2009 CSL Italia Shooters vs TFC Academy (from TorontoFC.ca media release)
Academy team falls to Italia Shooters
Reds youngsters beaten 1-0 in Canadian Soccer League
07/20/2009 09:05 AM
Toronto FC Academy's Senior Team conceded a late penalty to lose 1-0 against Italia Shooters in the Canadian Soccer League at Maple on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams made a positive start to the match and created good chances early in the game. Italia threatened first when Johan Carerrera skipped past a couple of defenders but was quickly closed down by the quick goalkeeper Soitiri Varlokostas. Only a minute later it was TFC Academy's chance to punish the opposition when Justin Maheu got to the byline and crossed for James Stamopoulos at the back post but his effort narrowly missed the bottom corner.
In the 12th minute Matt Stinson threaded a through ball for Stamopoulos but his left footed shot went wide. Stamopoulos had another chance soon after but fired his shot over the goal from 10 yards out. TFC looked to have scored the opening goal of the match in the 44th minute when Jonathan Lao whipped in a free kick that was met at the back post by Stinson, but the linesman raised his flag for offside.
In the second half both sides created a few opportunities and the majority of play seemed to be played in midfield. The match sparked to life in the 71st minute when a quick counter attack by TFC Academy saw Lao released in the box all alone but he took the wrong option at a decisive moment and the chance was lost. A few minutes later Allando Matheson did well to roll his defender just outside the box, but he attempted to shoot from a very narrow angle and the chance was not taken.
Only a minute later Stamopoulos did well to cut the ball back from the byline to Matheson but his side footed strike from eight yards was saved by the goalkeeper and the rebound fell to Lao but his follow up shot was hit over the bar.
Those misses proved to be very costly for TFC Academy when Italia Shooters quick striker Kaiden Lecky outpaced the back four and cut the ball back for Johan Carerrera. His shot from 10 yards out was superbly saved by Varlokostas but the rebound hit the post and ricocheted off the unfortunate Casey D'Mello. The referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot and Italia were presented with a wonderful opportunity to take the lead. Geron Duporte assumed responsibility and his penalty kick squeezed by the outstretched Varlokostas to put Italia Shooters up 1-0. The rest of the match saw TFC continue to push players forward but they couldn't find a way tie the game.
"Once again, I cannot fault the effort, spirit and quality of our football," said Senior Team Head Coach Jason Bent. "I think the opposition knew they were in a tough match today and that was clearly evident at the final whistle when their players showed respect to TFC Academy as they acknowledged the battle. We are bitterly disappointed to drop points as we feel we did enough to get something out of the game. On reflection, our players never stopped trying to create chances and it is unfortunate at this point in time that we are failing to reward our good play with more goals. It is also unfortunate that decisions out of our control eventually led to our downfall."
"I will be happy when we start converting our chances because that is the only thing that is missing from our play," explained Bent. "My players will continue to work hard on the training ground and one day soon we will begin to finish our opportunities. We are lacking that killer instinct to punish teams, which is an element that is needed at the higher levels of football."
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