Windsor Defenders Play Large Role In Win

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(WINDSOR, ON) – For the first time since the historic announcement of the partnership between Toronto FC and the local League 1 Ontario franchise, Windsor TFC took to the pitch at Alumni Field last Friday evening in regular season play. The players celebrated the new arrangement by defeating Toronto Skillz FC 5-nil in front of almost 200 fans.

Playing under the lights with a determined breeze from the north, Windsor TFC received strong contributions from the defenders as keep Kyle Vizirakis recorded his third clean sheet of the season, and second in a row.

Marco Bernabo got the ball rolling, moving up from defense to the left midfield position. Bernabo knocked the ball into the Toronto goal after being set up by Jack Sargent in the 16th minute.

It would take Windsor another 16 minutes before beating Skillz keeper Viktor Lyczywek on a shot by Jumbo Iyowuna for his 5th goal of the year. The Windsor striker buried the ball on a cross from Bernabo.

Jumbo Iyowuna shows his displeasure with a hard tackle by a Toronto Skillz player at Alumni Field on 17 June 2016. Iyowuna scored Windsor TFC's first goal after signing an historic agreement with Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.Photo by John Skinner.

Jumbo Iyowuna shows his displeasure with a hard tackle by a Toronto Skillz player at Alumni Field on 17 June 2016. Iyowuna scored Windsor TFC’s first goal after signing an historic agreement with Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.
Photo by John Skinner.

The first 45 would run down with the score 2-nil as the teams departed for the dressing rooms.

The 2nd half would see a determined Toronto side, but an equally staunch Windsor defense. Skillz was awarded a penalty shot on a doubly questionable call, but karma intervened as the ensuing kick was put over the crossbar.

It appeared as if Toronto would escape with a 2-nil loss, but just as 3 minutes of stoppage time was announced, Mike Pio deftly deposited the ball into the far corner past Lyczywek. Sargent added a a goal of his own with a shot from the top of the 18 yard box, to make it 4-nil.

Martin Nyull sidesteps a tackle attempt by a Toronto Skills player during 1st half action in Windsor on 17 June 2016.Photo by John Skinner.

Martin Nyull sidesteps a tackle attempt by a Toronto Skills player during 1st half action in Windsor on 17 June 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

To add insult to injury, Pio connected with his 5th goal of the season and Windsor’s 5th of the game.

Less than 48 hours later, Windsor was kicking off away against Woodbridge Strikers at Vaughan Grove.

A curling free kick found its way past Vizirakis in the 16th minute for an early 1-nil lead for the home side. And, the Windsor keeper kept his team in the match with a fingertip save on a clear shot in the 40th minute.

Vizirakis then made not one, but two saves after Windsor was assessed a penalty inside the box shortly into the 2nd half.

Stefan Zastavnikovic (R) gives Toronto Skillz keeper Viktor Lyczywek a close call early in the 1st half. Windsor TFC walked away with a 5-nil victory on 17 June 2016.Photo by John Skinner.

Stefan Zastavnikovic (R) gives Toronto Skillz keeper Viktor Lyczywek a close call early in the 1st half. Windsor TFC walked away with a 5-nil victory on 17 June 2016.
Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor’s luck ran out in the 68th minute as Woodbridge went up 2-nil when Emmanuel Issac found himself alone in front of the net.

After a strong 1st half, Windsor wasn’t able to muster any offense to counter the Woodbridge attack. The 2-nil loss evened Windsor’s record at 4-4-1, 7 points behind 2nd place London in the League 1 Ontario western division.

Jumbo Iyowuna had a couple of early chances before scoring the opening goal of a 5-nil victory over Toronto Skillz.Photo by John Skinner.

Jumbo Iyowuna had a couple of early chances before scoring the opening goal of a 5-nil victory over Toronto Skillz.
Photo by John Skinner.

Windsor TFC will return home June 24 to host Aurora United at Alumni Field, kicking off at 7:00pm. Aurora currently sits in 6th pace in the eastern division with a 1-6-1 record and 4 points, and winless in their last two outings.

Windsor will then take to the road for the month of July, playing five matches away from the friendly confines of their home pitch.

Noah Pio fights with a Toronto Skillz player for possession of the ball at Alumni Field on 17 June 2016. Windsor TFC dispatch the Toronto side by a 5-nil score.Photo by John Skinner.

Noah Pio fights with a Toronto Skillz player for possession of the ball at Alumni Field on 17 June 2016. Windsor TFC dispatch the Toronto side by a 5-nil score.
Photo by John Skinner.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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