June 4, 2023: Windsor City FC (2-4-0) vs ProStars FC (5-2-0)
After a week-long break from League1 Ontario action Windsor City FC returned to St Clair College this past Sunday to host the visiting ProStars FC. With the Prostars coming in at 5-2-0 the Brampton based club wanted to show they belong at the top, and Windsor wanted to show they can rebound from a rougher start. A high stakes match in a season where every point matters. One major note to make was that this served as the first game of head coach, Valter Cosenza’s 2 game suspension. In the meantime assistant coach, Rob Arce is serving as interim head coach. With that being said Windsor City’s keys to the match today were articulated by Windsor midfielder, Cailan Loebel as: confidence, discipline, trust, and communication.
As the match started Windsor City was calm and demonstrated good play making ability, leading to a semi-breakaway chance in front of the net nullified by contact. This was then followed up with a corner and another two good chances in the 7th and 9th minutes. The first fifteen minutes of the match showed that Windsor held the momentum of the match. In the 11th minute the ref pulled out the first yellow card of the match to ProStars player, Dominic Parris. This was a trend as ProStars a five yellow cards in the first half alone at the 11th, 17th, 37th, and 42nd minutes. Windsor City was issued a single yellow card in the half to Brenden Flannell who was warming up at the time in the 26th minute. The first half was filled with chances, free kicks, and momentum shifts. One such chance was a Windsor City free kick at the 32nd minute which sliced to the side which made the ProStars goalkeeper make a quality save. Shortly after at the 35th minute mark ProStars had a similar key chance that was stopped. In the 42nd minute immediately after two yellow cards were handed to the Brampton based team, Windsor was able to convert a Owen Antoniuk cross on a Gianfranco Facchineri flick header that put Windsor City ahead 1-0. Throughout the first half Windsor City played calm, with clearer communication, more speed, and quicker drops..
As both teams emerged from the locker room three substitutions were made by the ProStars. The second half started with a Windsor City cross, that went wide in the 47th minute. After that it was clear the momentum had shifted and ProStars now controlled the tempo of the game. In the 50th minute this shift was realized as one of the substitutions for ProStars, #13 Tomas Joseph found the back of the net after a pinpoint pass. The pressure mounted in the 57th and 59th minutes with two scrambles in front of Windsor’s net which tested Windsor goalkeeper Dante Carraro and the club's defensive resolve. In the 63rd minute Windsor player Jonathan Agapito was issued a yellow card. Yellow card or not there was a momentum shift culminating in a Windsor partial breakaway at the 64th minute stopped by the ProStars. At the 67th minute the game took a scary turn as ProStars' goal scorer, Tomas Joseph fell in a brutal fashion landing awkwardly on his lower back. With an apparent back injury of some sort, Joseph then remained down for the next 90 minutes as staff awaited an ambulance. Eventually the league and the coaches of the two teams called the game complete resulting in the final score of a 1-1 draw.
Windsor City still walked away with a point but the sentiment in the dressing room was that had the full 90 minutes been played Windsor City would’ve become Win-City. Striker Jose Pabon looked toward the future, “I feel like the team is putting in a good effort. We just have to keep pushing through this rough patch.” Ilija Pavicic echoed this sentiment, “We have good composure, and our heads in the game.” With the high quality effort, and soccer IQ of the players in that locker room Windsor City now looks towards their next game. Windsor City FC returns to Acumen Stadium for another home game Sunday June 11, with a 4:00pm EST start.