September 14, 2019 League 1 Ontario--Masters FA vs Oakville Blue Devils (game report by Rocket Robin)

Result and details of the League 1 Ontario game of Saturday September 14, 2019 game between Masters FA 
and Oakville Blue Devils played at L'Amoreaux Park in Scarborough at 8:00pm.  

88 min...MFA RED card...Anthony Wright earns it for pushing over Deryn Armstrong at MFA 50 yard line 
so he could quickly take a freekick.    
...............Oakville RED card...Deryn Armstrong earns it while he's on ground for throwing the ball 
in the face of Wright.  
MFA Triston Frankson was beside them the whole time on the ground injured and needed the trainer.  

Final Score:....Masters FA.......0.....Oakville Blue Devils.......0........

This was certainly the more exciting game of the evening.  Both the GTA teams drew the home date 
for this weekend.  When playoff game field availability has to be arranged on short notice, you take 
what you can get.  This game and the Alliance United vs FC London were originally scheduled to have 
the same 7:00pm starting times but this game was bumped until 8:00pm.  I originally drove to the 
other field as I thought I'd see FC London this week as they're out of my driving area for the return 
match but was advised after I got there to come to this game!  (more details at the bottom of this post).  

This game ended 0-0 and was a pretty rough game with at least two multi player dust-ups.  At the end 
of the night both teams had a player Red carded and OBD earned five Yellows and Masters had two.  
Referee Brian Butler knew what he was doing and didn't fall for any in-the-box diving.  OBD drew 
more cards because they took professional ones to stop break-ins.  The double Red card incident was 
at least the second multi player dust up in the game.  The first one was at 53 minutes when a tussle 
started on the edge of the MFA box and was solved with a Yellow card to one member of each team.  
I actually didn't notice the sendings off.  The referee probably kept them low key and delayed them 
to avoid inciting the fans.  

Trainers had to be called out a few times for injuries to both teams.    

I thought there may have been about 100 people on this cool night with the temperature dropping 
as the sun had set just before the game started.  The fans were really into this one.  There weren't 
too many travelling fans but one who came later and introduced himself to me was Konner McNamara who 
used to play for Oakville with his brother Taylor all the way back to Toronto Lynx PDL days.  
Their father is still an assistant coach for Oakville.  Best call though was at 25 minutes after 
an MFA player had left the field for treatment of an injury and a fan called out “We're at ten men, 
drop back!” and MFA Triston Frankson yelled back “We know!” which drew a lot of laughs.   

Good defences on both sides starting with goalies Spiridon Koskinas for Masters and Lukas Birnstingl 
for Oakville.  Birnstingl has a shutout stretching through the playoffs back to the regular season.  
(now actually nine games in a row).  Defensive lines should be mentioned on both teams for blocking 
shots.  OBD had Carlo Difeo, captain Victor Gallo, Jesse Bibby, and Zachary Drake.  MFA lined 
up Antoine Paul, Adam Czerkawski, Antony Wright, and Atif Muhammad Ali (although Paul was subbed 
at only 26 minutes for Shawn Brown who added an offensive threat to run up the wings).     

OBD shook up their lineup at halftime (five subs maximum in this league).  They made three offensive 
changes at halftime (officially their first was at 44 minutes when best scoring threat Khody Ellis 
had to be replaced because of injury by teenager Spencer Barber.  Reshon Phillip and Judah Hernandez 
were the other halftime subs.  

Last sub in for OBD was Deryn Armstrong at 78 minutes so only 10 minutes until he was Red carded.  
Anthony Wright was the MFA player sent off.  He had played the whole game as a defender but came 
forward to try for headers on cornerkick and freekick plays.  Wright could be a big loss for 
the MFA defence in next week's rematch.  

MFA defender Marc Jankovic (1980) was at least recalled for this game but was not subbed in.  He led 
the pre game warmups though.      

Master's wore their graduated pink shirts with white numbers again this week.  I found that if I sit 
in the stands (no staring into the sun at this time of night) rather then standing on the sidelines 
on the other side, I can have my binoculars handy and I can tell the numbers of the MFA players 
(if I can't pick them out by shoe colour or haircut) by zeroing in at the small number just under 
their left shoulder.  

Best non-scoring chances this game were at 5 minutes when MFA Yahin Shawan sent in a cornerkick from 
the left that an MFA player popped up a header at 10 yards down the middle and the goalie caught.  
9 minutes had OBD Carlo Difeo take a 35 yard freekick from the left forward to OBD Khody Ellis who 
crossed along the end line from 22 yards and the ball tipped off a defender and the goalie caught.  
30 minutes had MFA Atif Muhammad Ali bend in a 40 yard freekick from the right that the goalie 
caught between a crowd of players.  First minute of the second half and Difeo chips a 45 yarder 
from the right that the goalie dives to smother at 6 yards after OBD Reshon Phillip's first touch 
was too heavy. 58 minutes had Akeem Preistly receive a tapped pass from the right end line 
and his 12 yard shot was well over the bar.  64 minutes had Ali take a high 45 yard freekick from 
the left had the ball popped up in a crowd of players and MFA Francis Ameyaw stepped behind a defender 
flick header but the goalie caught on the left side of the net.  77 minutes had OBD Logan Podrebarac 
chip a 30 yarder down the middle and OBD Evan James received it in the box at 8 yards but pushed 
it to elude defenders but goalie dove on it to smother.  79 minutes had Difeo send in a cornerkick 
from the left and an OBD player outjumped the goalie and headed to the right side where defenders 
on the goal line cleared away.  The same minute had Phillip get by MFA Anthony Wright on a run down 
the left but another defender and the sliding goalie clear on the left side of the box.  84 minutes 
had Difeo centers pass along the 18 yard line to OBD Judah Hernandez who took a low shot that 
deflected off a defender slowing it down enough that it rolled to the goalie for an easy save.  
Next minute had MFA Daunte Walkes deke two sliding tackles but couldn't win a Penalty kick on the 
third slide at 5 yards on the left and was injured.  The goalie did throw the ball out of bounds 
for sportsmanship.  Extra time had MFA Randy-Durand Misse Miyenga send in a long 65 yard freekick 
from the slight right that the goalie caught in a crowd of players at 8 yards and hung on as he 
was bumped over.  

Today was the first game of the semi-finals with the second leg happening next weekend.  
Much like the last round, Oakville were held to a 0-0 tie by Woodbridge Strikers until winning 
the return match 2-0 back in Oakville.  We'll see if that happens next Sunday.  

I had started the evening at Mt Joy for the Alliance United vs FC London game as I expected 
I could be in Oakville next weekend and therefore would have seen the 'final four' before 
the championship game.  

It was suggested that I leave well before the game started because Alliance had only eleven 
players and none of their University of Toronto guys were here (two games this weekend?) 
and the team had no substitutions.  They were trying to call in some guys just to sit on the bench 
and avoid the fine imposed by the league.  “The game (score) could get ugly” and “It'll be 
a massacre” was what I heard.  Quite a shock as the team only lost 1 game all season!  I took 
his advice and drove to L'Amoreaux (it was actually on my way home anyway).  

Now the two who suggested this were Alliance head coach Ilya Orlov and assistant Julian Green! 
I'd like to thank them now for their warning as the game ended 5-0 for London.  While at the 
Master's game the L1O tweet stopped early so I though the game was still 1-0.  Well the chances 
of going to the return leg in London next Friday night were remote anyway but now that's saved 
me the drive for sure.  Now AU won't bother to play U of T players even if they have no games 
next week with a scoreline like that.  

Rocket Robin
twitter @RocketRobin01  

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