Character On Display In Comeback Draw

Not this time. Windsor's Stefan Zastavnikovic goes high on a corner kick, but looks on as a Sigma FC player heads the ball out of danger on 28 May 2017.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Not this time. Windsor’s Stefan Zastavnikovic goes high on a corner kick, but looks on as a Sigma FC player heads the ball out of danger on 28 May 2017.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

(WINDSOR, ON) – Windsor TFC found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided score heading into the 2nd half of regular season action at Alumni Field on Sunday. Instead of writing off the match against the Division-leading Sigma FC, the players instead took the opportunity to display their character and determination in a bid to salvage a point.

Before the match was nine minutes old, Windsor was already disadvantaged and facing a 2-nil deficit after two breakdowns on defense. The visitors were able to exploit shallow coverage to get in alone on keeper Kyle Visirakis and bury 2 quick goals in succession.

Dradon Kelly (L) and brother Jamar provided a 1-2 punch on defense for Windsor TFC against Sigma FC at home on 28 May 2017. The former scored his 1st goal of the season in his first game on the year.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Dradon Kelly (L) and brother Jamar provided a 1-2 punch on defense for Windsor TFC against Sigma FC at home on 28 May 2017. The former scored his 1st goal of the season in his first game on the year.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Early in the 2nd half, Sigma’s Kadell Thomas completed the hat trick with an odd-angled shot which rebounded into the goal.

“We made a couple of mistakes at the back,” Windsor coach Zibby Piatkiewicz said. “The first two goals that they scored, there wasn’t support at the back for the player that was challenging for the ball. And we paid for that.”

Midfielder Chris Al-Youssef controls the ball against Sigma FC during regular season action on 28 May 2017. After falling behind 3-0 early in the 2nd half, Windsor fought back to secure a 3-3 draw.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Midfielder Chris Al-Youssef controls the ball against Sigma FC during regular season action on 28 May 2017. After falling behind 3-0 early in the 2nd half, Windsor fought back to secure a 3-3 draw.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The deflation of atmosphere in the stands was almost perceptible, but it didn’t translate onto the pitch.

“We made one substitution and there was a change of tactics,” said Piatkiewicz. “At the same time I told them to calm down a little bit and close the gaps. We didn’t give them a lot of space to move the ball around and we changed the whole game.”

Playing in his first match this season for Windsor, Dradon Kelly put Windsor on the score sheet in the 66th minute to break Triston Henry’s shutout bid. By all accounts, that should have been the end of the comeback as Henry hadn’t given up more than one goal in each of his prior four matches this year.

“That’s the whole process,” explained captain Stephen Ademolu. “Whenever you’re down 3-0, everything is just get one. Once you get one, just get the other one.”

And, that’s what happened just 5 minutes later. Ademolu netted his 2nd goal of the season to pull the team within one of the visitors and breathe hope into the side.

“Once we got two, you could see their whole demeanor on the other team go down,” he said. “You can’t just run all over us, especially in our house.”

Windsor TFC captain Stephen Ademolu (9) taps a loose ball past Sigma FC keeper Henry during a match on 28 May 2017.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Windsor TFC captain Stephen Ademolu (9) taps a loose ball past Sigma FC keeper Triston Henry during a match on 28 May 2017.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The trifecta of goals was completed in the 87th minute when Celso Carapau lobbed the ball over Henry, who had challenged off the line, and into the top corner of the goal. For Carapau, it marked his 6th goal for Windsor in just 5 matches.

Though a draw at home is never a desired result, Windsor TFC can take some solace in recovering from 3 goals down when looking ahead to the next game would have been easier.

“It’s a team thing, man. For us it’s a win because we came back from 3-0 and that shows so much character,” said Ademolu. “It’s always a pleasure to come back. It shows that I still have that fight and my players still have that. I think we’ll learn from our mistakes.”

That next match is tonight when the team travels to meet North Mississauga in a mid-week League Cup affair. During a previous regular season meeting, Windsor prevailed 2-1 on the strength of two goals from Carapau.

“I think they should cancel that Wednesday game,” Ademolu said. “It’s very tough in the middle of the week with everybody’s life. I probably can’t go to the Wednesday one.”

The side will remain on the road for a Friday evening set-to with FC London before returning home to host TFC III on June 10. Kickoff at Alumni Field is scheduled for 4:00pm.

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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