Dragoi Lifts Windsor Over Toronto

Shalapata-Header(WINDSOR, ON) – Windsor TFC bettered their record to 9-8-1 in the League 1 Ontario western division with a 1-nil victory over stablemates Toronto FC Academy, Friday evening at the McHugh Complex. The lone goal of the match came from Danny Dragoi in the 17th minute and set the stage for a dramatic close to the game.

Securing his fifth clean sheet of the season in goal for Windsor was Kyle Vizarakis.

“I think we made the keeper [Vizarakis] look good by hitting it directly at him. It’s hard to miss the boy, he’s an absolute monster,” joked Toronto head coach Stuart Neely. “But I don’t think we made him work hard enough.”

The home side had some returning players, who arrived back just in time for Friday’s match. Jamar Kelly and Tony Falkestajn helped to shore up a defense that included the strong play of Akbal Gill. And up front, Mike Pio returned to the attack along with Celso Carapau and Jumbo Iyowuna.

But, it was the play-making of field boss Dragoi who helped round out a well played effort from all involved.

“I played Mike [Pio] on the left side, and put Dragoi in the middle, but I give them freedom to move around,” said head coach Dave Rimbert. “I’m not a real stickler when it comes to the attack as long as they feel comfortable and they produce.”

Kyle Vizarakis (in red) keeps an eye on the ball as Jamar Kelly defends against Toronto's Reshon Phillip as Tony Falkestajn watches for any late comers during the League 1 Ontario match between Windsor TFC and TFC Academy at the McHugh Soccer Complex in Windsor, Ontario, on 19 August 2016. Photo by Ian Shalapata..

Kyle Vizarakis (in red) keeps an eye on the ball as Jamar Kelly defends against Toronto’s Reshon Phillip as Tony Falkestajn watches for any late comers during the League 1 Ontario match between Windsor TFC and TFC Academy at the McHugh Soccer Complex in Windsor, Ontario, on 19 August 2016.
Photo by Ian Shalapata..

The pair made life difficult for the Toronto defenders and keeper Brogan Engbers, who was forced into a number of sharp saves during the evening.

“We like to build out of the back a lot, but I think we were somewhat limited at times,” said Engbers. “I think we did a good job not giving into the pressure. We stuck to our game plan, we stuck to what we wanted to do. We got chances, but we didn’t finish.”

Windsor now plays host to the ever-strong London FC this Friday at McHugh. London is in 2nd place in the western division with 34 points and defeated Windsor 3-1 on June 3 at home. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.

WTFC will then hit the road for two away matches on September 10 and 17 before closing the season at home against Sanjaxx Lions on the 30th.

Referee Adam Kanji watches the play as Mike Pio moves toward the middle against Marko Mandekic during the League 1 Ontario match between Windsor TFC and TFC Academy at the McHugh Soccer Complex in Windsor, Ontario, on 19 August 2016. Photo by Ian Shalapata..

Referee Adam Kanji watches the play as Mike Pio moves toward the middle against Marko Mandekic (20) during the League 1 Ontario match between Windsor TFC and TFC Academy at the McHugh Soccer Complex in Windsor, Ontario, on 19 August 2016.
Photo by Ian Shalapata..

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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