Toronto FC II is heading home with an important three points after a record setting 4-2 road victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
The Young Reds struck first in the 35th minute when Skylar Thomas pounced on an errant pass and sent a through ball down the left side to a streaking Raheem Edwards. The Reds’ leading scorer made no mistake and slotted it to the right of the outstretched Harrisburg keeper.
The second half started great for the Reds. Luca Uccello’s 48th minute cross found Edwards in the box. The Harrisburg defender tackled Edwards off the ball but Ayo Akinola was in great position to capitalize. The 16 year old buried his shot into the vacated Harrisburg goal. For Akinola it was his first professional goal.
Just a minute later Akinola was able to take advantage of a high bouncing ball to get behind the Harrisburg line. He then chipped his shot in over the charging keeper to make it 3-0.
Toronto FC II keeper Phil Di Bennardo and Uccello combined to make a controversial stop on the goal line off a Harrisburg corner in the 55th. Harrisburg pleaded that the ball had crossed the line but the officials held up their no goal decision.
However, Harrisburg would respond with two goals of their own to make it 3-2 midway through the second half. Garret Pettis pounced on a rebound in the 58th and Jose Barril scored directly off a corner in the 69th.
A scary moment for the Young Reds as Di Bennardo was taken off with an apparent head injury after taking an elbow from a teammate on the Barril goal.
Toronto FC II would add a late insurance goal courtesy of Aiden Daniels. Brian James played a beautiful ball out wide to Daniels. Daniels took one touch and stroked the ball into the top right corner. For Daniels it was his first professional goal and marked the first time in franchise history that Toronto FC II has scored four goals in a match.
The match would see Marko Maletic, Angelo Cavalluzzo, and Leonard Sohn all make their professional debuts for Toronto FC II.
Toronto FC II will look to carry their momentum into their next match when they take on Rochester Rhinos on July 20th at the Ontario Soccer Centre.
TFC II – Raheem Edwards 35’ (Skylar Thomas)
TFC II – Ayo Akinola 48’ (Raheem Edwards)
TFC II – Ayo Akinola 49’
HCI – Garret Pettis 58’
HCI – Jose Barril 69’
TFC II – Aidan Daniels 86’ (Brian James)
TFC II – Chris Mannella 63’ (caution)
HCI – Garret Pettis 63’ (caution)
Toronto FC II: 5-11-4 19pts.
Harrisburg City Islanders: 4-13-2 14pts.
Toronto FC II – Phil Di Bennardo (Angelo Cavalluzzo 72’); Wesley Charpie, Mitchell Taintor, Skylar Thomas, Anthony Osorio; Chris Mannella ©, Liam Fraser (Marko Maletic 90’+), Luca Uccello (Leonard Sohn 90’+); Sal Bernal (Aidan Daniels 85’), Raheem Edwards, Ayo Akinola (Brian James 68’)
Harrisburg City Islanders – Nick Noble; James Thomas (Joshua Hughes 45’), Liam Doyle, Dante Leverock, Shawn McLaws; Jose Barril, William Warshaw, Mouhamed Dabo (Brett Jankouskas 82’), Cardel Benbow; Paul Wilson, Garret Pettis