Toronto FC II put in another strong defensive outing on the road against the Harrisburg City Islanders as the match between the two clubs ended in a 0-0 draw at Skyline Sports Complex.
The Quillan Roberts Show
With Chris Mannella called up with the first team, TFC II goalkeeper Quillan Roberts had one of his strongest performances this season while wearing the captain’s armband against the Harrisburg City Islanders.
One of Roberts’ biggest saves came in the 20th minute when a long-range effort from Islanders defender Neil Shaffer caught Roberts off guard and nearly went in. Roberts, who appeared to have cheated a bit to his right expecting a cross, was able to adjust and make an unbelievable athletic save to keep the ball from crossing the goal line, keeping the match scoreless.
Both Teams Close to Winning in Stoppage Time
Both teams were close to taking home the three points in stoppage time. In the 93rd minute TFCII defender Skylar Thomas made a game saving tackle on Islanders forward Brett Jankouskas who had found space in the box and was just about to pull the trigger.
The ensuing corner kick led to a scramble in the TFC II box and the Islanders were able to put a shot on target. Luckily for your Reds, Roberts was able to make a save with his right leg while preventing any rebound. Replays showed Roberts stopped the ball right on the goal line, guaranteeing at least a tie.
Still in the 93rd minute, Roberts began the TFC II counter attack, the final play of the match, by quickly throwing the ball into the feet of TFC II midfielder Raheem Edwards. An attempted dribble by Edwards was deflected into the path of TFC II forward Mo Babouli who unleashed a right-footed shot that unfortunately sailed just over the bar.
Another Strong Defensive Effort
Toronto FC II finished their second straight match without conceding a goal. Over the last few weeks TFC II head coach Jason Bent has made it the team’s main focus to work on the defensive side of the game and it has showed. The team’s positioning and organization in the back end has visibly improved since the beginning of the season. The usual starting backline of Kaye, Bouchard, Thomas and Charpie have been solid as of late, demonstrating a sense of chemistry that was missing at the early parts of the season.
Little Offense Created
TFC II’s best chance came in the 14th minute when midfielder Manny Aparicio was able to cut in from the left side of the pitch and put a right-footed shot on target that dipped and hit the far post.
The team is going through an offensive drought, failing to score in their last three matches now. With the defensive side of the game continuing to be strong, expect head coach Jason Bent to focus a bit more on offensive tactics over the next few weeks.
Catch Toronto FC II’s next match against Wilmington Hammerheads FC on Saturday, June 27th at 8:00PM ET. Follow along on Twitter@TorontoFCII using the hashtag #TFCLive and watch the action via livestream at torontofc.ca/live.
TFCII – Manuel Aparicio 41’ (caution)
HCI – Yann Ekra 66’ (caution)
HCI – Ken Tribbett 72’ (caution)
TFC II – Raheem Edwards 80’ (caution)
TFC II – Liam Fraser 87’ (caution)
Toronto FC II: 2-5-3 9pts.
Harrisburg City Islanders: 4-3-2 14pts.
Toronto FC II – Quillan Roberts; Wesley Charpie (Gabriel Boakye 69’), Adam Bouchard, Skylar Thomas, Mark Anthony Kaye; Liam Fraser, Luca Uccello (Raheem Edwards 72’), Manuel Aparicio (Daniel Fabrizi 90’), Mo Babouli; Edwin Rivas (Stefan Vukovic 58’), Massimo Mirabelli (Anthony Osorio 84’)
Substitutes Not Used: Alex Bono, Emeka Ononye
Harrisburg City Islanders – Nicholas Noble; Neil Shaffer, Dante Leverovk, Ken Tribbett, Erick Cruz; Jose Barril, Enric Valles, Yann Ekra (Bird 77’); Cardel Benbow, Danny DiPrima (Brett Jankouskas 88’), Jason Plumhoff (Garret Pettis 67’)
Substitutes Not Used: Shane Johnson, Ciaran Nugent, Kyle Renfro