August 24, 2019 League 1 Ontario--Sigma FC vs Masters FA (game report by Rocket Robin)

Result and details of the Saturday August 24, 2019 League 1 Ontario game between Sigma FC and Masters FA 
played at Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga at 12:00pm.  This was the first game of their 
two game Quarter Final series.  

47 min...MFA Samer Hamade GOAL...MFA Randy-Durand Misse Miyenga passes down left wing for 
MFA Francis Ameyaw who continues to near the left end line and sends in cross past goalie 
Luke Iacobellis guarding left post.  Hamade one-touches midair 6 yard shot forward 
into open net on right side.   

70 min...Sigma Manuel Morgado GOAL...Sigma Manvir Brar passes from 25 yards on left to Morgado 
in middle of box and he rolls 10 yarder into right corner of net beyond goalie Spiridon Koskinas.  

83 min...MFA Adam Czerkawski GOAL...Czerkawski bends 25 yard freekick up middle around player 
wall and into right side of net just inside post past flying goalie.  

94 minutes...Sigma RED card...Cody Green earns it for a *football* tackle from behind 
on MFA Francis Ameyaw on the far left running dribbling towards the end line.  [I expect 
the direct Red was given for something said after the tackle...Green may have been 
the last man back but the play was well outside the box and I expected Ameyaw was going 
to kill time at the cornerflag].  *CFL/NFL football!     

Final Score:......Sigma FC......1.......Masters FA........2........

Attendance was about 100 on this Saturday game starting at Noon.  The weather was warm with 
a bright sun in the south west.  It certainly wasn't as hot as the last month but the referee 
scheduled a water break in each half and neither team looked like they objected when the time 
came for the stoppages.

The first half had few great scoring opportunities as much of the action was in the midfield.  
Final stats compiled by the league had Sigma leading in offside calls by 8 to 4.  That and 
a lot of whistles for fouls broke up both teams' momentum.  

Referee Brian Butler gave out four Yellow cards in the game (three to MFA) plus two Reds.  
MFA manager Hubert 'Junior' Groves was ejected from the bench for making some comments during 
a stoppage in play at 76 minutes.  A league tweet put the fouls count at 21 to 13 against Masters 
in a close checking, rough game.  

Surprise early substitution had an MFA switch of midfielders with Samer Hamade coming into 
the game at 26 minutes for young (2002) Nathan Ferguson.  Hamade is a (1998) so it's not like 
he's an old guy.  Head coach Rick Titus is not afraid to make early changes so it wasn't 
a complete surprise.  Ferguson didn't look injured but he was easily bumped off a ball 
at 15 minutes without getting away a shot from 15 yards.  Hamade didn't last all that long 
as he was eventually replaced at 67 minutes but...he got that important opening goal.  

Of course Sigma FC head coach John Zervos can also be seen as a substitute genius as he put 
in Manvir Brar just three minutes before Brar put the pass in that got Manuel Morgado their goal.  

I didn't notice anyone camcording the game until it was over.  If they hadn't they'd have missed 
Adam Czerkawski's winning goal with a Giovinco-like freekick that will be one of the goal-of-the-year 
candidates at the L1O year end awards banquet.  The game was being filmed from the east side 
of the field facing into the sun.  The cam guy said he had the proper filter.  Games I've attended 
earlier this year (both Sigma and North Mississauga) have filmed from the west but that can be 
a problem with fans walking by and possibly jostling the bulky tripod.  There are more than our 
spectators as it is also a pathway to Field #2 which was holding a youth game.  ANB Futbol girls 
was one of the teams.  ANB were one of the founding members of L1O but only played in 2014 and 2015.  
They did give the world Adonijah Reid and the three Mills brothers (who moved over to Vaughan Azzurri).  

I made sure while congratulating Titus after the game to mention what Ryan Telfer said at the 
York 9 FC v Pacific FC post game press conference about his uncertainty of making a decision to play 
for Canada or Trinidad & Tobago.  Titus eventually played for T&T in 2002 at age 33 after being 
ignored for years by Canada.  Titus said he knew Telfer well.  I thought Titus could offer some 
good advice.  

Best non-scoring chances were at 17 minutes when Sigma Justin Stoddart took a cornerkick from the right 
that a defender headed away at 6 yards in middle but right to Sigma Tyriq Armstrong who shot the partial 
clearance just over the bar from 15 yards.  28 minutes had MFA Akeem Preistly take a cornerkick from 
the left.  The Sigma goalie made an overhead knock down as he fell and a defender rolled it away but 
MFA Adam Czerkawski blasted the partial clearance from 20 yards well over the net.  38 minutes had 
Sigma Leaford Allen roll a pass ahead for Sigma Markell Saddler but the goalie dove wide left of the 
net at 7 yards to smother the ball before he could get to it.  56 minutes had MFA Preistly take 
a 30 yard freekick from the right that hit a head in the player wall and pop up but fall and the goalie 
had to palm the ball over the bar.  58 minutes had MFA Shawn Brown run down the right eluding a defender 
and his 18 yard shot was into the side netting.  65 minutes had Preistly deke Sigma Francis Kwashie 
making him fall backwards but the time taken on the 15 yard shot was caught by the goalie 
on the near post.  Next minute had Sigma Allen finish a pressure play with an 8 yard shot past 
a sliding defender and off the left post.  The play continued with MFA getting away on a fast break 
with MFA Ameyaw and Duante Walkes on a 2v2 break and a 15 yarder that the goalie dove to smother.  
69 minutes was another Sigma common play for cornerkicks but this time almost worked as Stoddart sent 
in a high cornerkick from the left.  Morgado popped up a header from the right side back into the middle 
of the box and Saddler got away an 8 yard shot that the goalie made a foot save on the near post.  
76 minutes had MFA Aziah Reid not able to get around a defender so tapped a pass to Ameyaw whose 8 yard 
shot was pushed wide left by the goalie.  The resulting cornerkick had MFA Maleik De Freitas send 
it in from the left between players in the box and Czerkawski slid at 5 yards and pop the ball over 
the net.  82 minutes had MFA Anwar Al-Sawi chip a ball from 55 yards to MFA Walkes or Ameyaw who got 
the ball at 15 yards and took a 10 yarder from the left that the goalie dove to push wide 
of the short corner.  

Two things that made this game easier for me to watch was Masters wore all red uniforms with white 
numbers (instead of white numbers on graduated pink) and the Sigma portable scoreboard was almost 
billboard sized as compared to the North Mississauga table top one which was mostly obscured last 
week with the fourth official standing right in front of it!  

The series continues two weekends from now in Scarborough with Master's holding a 2-1 lead and scoring 
two away goals.  Of course these are both GTA area teams so the advantage is certainly not like 
Forge FC travelling to Honduras!  No L1O playoffs for the men on the Labour Day weekend.  

This scoreline was a reversal of the one regular season meeting these two teams had.  Saturday May 15th 
had Sigma beat Masters 2-1 at L'Amoreaux Park in Scarborough.  That early season match would have 
had Sigma at full strength.  The Sigma tweet is less than two weeks old but proudly announces that 
thirteen players have left the team to attend NCCA and Canadian universities.  No wonder 
they're struggling.  
One reason I chose to attend this game is I won't be at the rematch Saturday September 7th as I'll 
be down at BMO Field for the Canada vs Cuba CONCACAF Nations League game.  Wow so much soccer 
in the Toronto area!   

Rocket Robin
twitter @RocketRobin01  

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