May 13, 2023 - Windsor City FC (2-2-0) @ North Mississauga SC (0-3-1)
Windsor City FC bussed out to Mississauga this weekend for a Saturday night matchup under the lights hoping to secure three points. With both clubs looking to turnaround their season, this match became even more crucial. Windsor City FC saw their keys to the game revolving around patience, focus, keeping play simple, ground ball, and trust in one another. North Mississauga enters play eager to land in the win column for the first time in the 2023 season. This expected eagerness was echoed by Windsor midfielder, Cailan Loebel, “Starts matter, North Mississauga will play with a lot of heart and guts to turn their season around and won't back down.” When asked what Windsor has to do to succeed Loebel echoed the keys to the game and kept it simple, “We got to score, to increase our confidence and decrease theirs.” Much like the weather for this one, Windsor City started off hot, then gradually cooled down.
The first ten minutes of the opening half was chaos as teams exchanged chances. Tensions started to flair in fourth minute as a yellow card was handed out to North Mississauga’s #3, Luca Ragagnin. Throughout the first 15 minutes of the game Windsor City showed good pace, playmaking, and positioning. These strengths were on display in the 19th and 23rd minutes as a corner and free kick both led to headers which narrowly missed the net. At the 25th minute a semi-breakaway for Windsor was spoiled by the play of North Missasauga’s goalkeeper, Michael Williams. Soon the yellow cards evened out as Windsor’s #2, Marc David Siegel, received one in the 33rd minute. The 0-0 deadlock was finally broken at the 35th minute as a turnover in front of Mississauga’s net allowed for a clean pass to Owen Antoniuk who scored his third goal of the season to make it 1-0. In the first half Windsor largely had possession of the ball, and dictated the flow of the game. Some errors in the transition game, passing, and on the left side of the pitch made the team hungry for improvement in the last 45.
Unfortunately for Windsor City this improvement would not come as momentum had shifted towards North Mississauga. Off a rebound in front of the net Mississauga’s #10, Cain Wesley, found the back of the net at the 48th minute. The Panthers sustained pressure and quickly followed up with a long shot that took an unusual bounce from the foot of Markell Sadler and found twine in the 57th minute. Windsor followed up with good corners and free kick chances at 68th, 73rd, and 80th minutes, but fell short. Their troubles continued as team captain, Bastian Aguilera, received a yellow card at the 82nd minute. As time ticked down the team tried to convert on a corner kick at the 84th minute and with set plays in the 90+ minute both with similar results. At the near conclusion of the game a fight broke out between the two teams, resulting in a red card for Windsors #3, Gianfranco Facchineri, and a yellow card for North Mississauga’s #4 Saahb Kular. Tensions reached a high and the final whistle sounded, finalizing a 2-1 loss for Windsor. Miscommunications, errors in reaction, and a lack of conversion on chances haunted Windsor City throughout the second half.
Post-game head coach, Valter Cosenza simply put, “We just didn’t come to play today.” He followed this up with a positive outlook for next week against Sigma FC mentioning the quality of the players, team, and ultimately their dedication and hard work for the City of Windsor and the home fans. The fans in Windsor serve as the 12th man, and the importance of fan support is not lost on the players either. Mississauga had vocal and energizing fan base which player Owen Antoniuk wants to mirror at St Clair next week, with game time set for 4 pm at Acumen Stadium, “I think we need a little more spark from the fans next week ... it’ll help inspire our team.” Team captain, Bastian Aguilera echoed these sentiments already thinking about next week, “It’s a long season [...] We must learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward!”