Toronto FC II snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating the Richmond Kickers 2-1 on a hot and humid afternoon at the Ontario Soccer Centre.
Mo Babouli and Massimo Mirabelli were the goal scorers for TFC II in the victory.
With the win the team improves their record to 5-12-3 on the season.
Unlike Wednesday’s game against FC Montreal, Toronto FC II started off the match strong, pressing for the opening goal and maintaining majority of possession in the Kickers' half.
It was the visitors, however, who came close to grabbing the lead early on.
Richmond connected with a header off a corner but the ball hit the crossbar, bounced down on the line and then cleared by goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.
Jay Chapman returned to the club following a lengthy stint with the first team and had two glorious opportunities to opening up the scoring.
In the 22nd minute Chapman had a header saved point blank by Richmond Kickers goalkeeper Travis Worra and five minutes later Worra came up with another save in close to keep the match scoreless.
Although TFC II continued to push forward in the second half it was the visitors that opened up the scoring in the 55th minute.
Fred Owusu-Sekyere crossed it in from the right flank and Yudai Imura headered it home past Roberts to put the visitors up 1-0.
TFC II’s relentless attack finally paid off 15 minutes to fulltime.
Right Back Wesley Charpie got high up the right side of the pitch and put in a cross that bounced through the Richmond box before Babouli connected with a header at the left post.
Babouli’s equalizer was his fourth goal of the season.
“Coming off the bench just gives you an opportunity to come in and make a difference and I try to do that to the best of my ability and it paid off for the team,” said Babouli to media following the victory.
The game winner came in stoppage time, the third straight game TFC II has scored in the late stages of a match.
Manny Aparicio crossed it into the Richmond 18 yard box and Massimo Mirabelli was able to chest it in for his second goal of the season to secure the three points for the young Reds.
“All in all I was pleased with the performance from the entire group,” said Head Coach Jason Bent following the victory on Saturday.
“I keep preaching that it is a squad game and the players that came off the bench gave a good spark and got us the result we needed,” he added.
Toronto’s next match comes on Wednesday, August 19th against the Harrisburg City Islanders at the Ontario Soccer Centre. Kick-off is set for 8PM ET.
RIC – Yudai Imura 55’
TFC II – Mo Babouli 75’
TFC II – Massimo Mirabelli 90’ + 2’
TFC II – Chris Mannella 67’ (caution)
TFC II – Mo Babouli 90’ + 3’ (caution)
Toronto FC II: 5-12-3 18pts.
Richmond Kickers: 8-6-9 33pts.
Toronto FC II – Quillan Roberts; Wesley Charpie, Skylar Thomas, Emeka Ononye, Mark Anthony Kaye (Robert Boskovic 89’); Chris Mannella © (Manuel Aparicio 70’), Anthony Osorio (Raheem Edwards 61’), Sal Bernal (Mo Babouli 70’), Bubacarr Jobe (Massimo Mirabelli 56’), Jay Chapman; Jordan Hamilton
Substitutes Not Used: Brogan Engbers, Gabriel Boakye
Richmond Kickers – Travis Worra; Uriah Bentick, William Yomby, Hugh Roberts, Braeden Troyer; Sascha Goerres, Michael Callahan © (Eli Garner 78’), Fred Owusu Sekyere (Ricky Burke 90’), Yudai Imura (Nathan Shiffman 78’); Jason Yeisley, Matthew Delicate (Samuel Asante 78’)
Substitutes Not Used: Ryan Taylor