Last Monday, January 22, the UTM men’s D-League indoor soccer team had their first game of the season against UTSC. From the start of the game, UTM had great movement and were successfully making through-balls. Both teams were given several opportunities to score but UTSC were the ones to find the back of the net first. Toward the middle of the first-half, a UTSC player took a rocket shot, burying the ball in the net. UTM did not hang their heads after this and remained confident, while continuing to move well and having good communication.
UTM’s Lucas Melo was given a prime opportunity to score but was unlucky enough to hit the crossbar. UTM’s Zaid Mahboubullah and Mohammad Golmakani, played exceptionally well in the first half of the game, creating several scoring opportunities for both themselves and their teammates. Kelechi Kalu, another UTM player, took a risky shot from half and it skimmed the top of the net—almost making the score 1-1. Shortly after Kalu’s shot, UTSC received a penalty shot. The UTM goalie made an outstanding save as he slid forward to stop the ball with his foot.
Slide tackling is prohibited in indoor soccer and UTM’s Emmanuel Ideva received a yellow card for doing so. Minutes before the whistle blew to end the half, UTSC scored their second goal of the game by putting it through the legs of two UTM players before finding the back of the net.
UTM started off slow in the second half of the game. Both teams were getting chances but there was a clear disconnect between the UTM players. A UTSC player escaped past the UTM defense and found himself on a breakaway. He beat the goalie but missed the net by shooting it slightly too much to the right. After this, UTM stepped it up and started putting a lot of pressure on the UTSC end.
An unfortunate UTM defensive mistake caused yet another goal for UTSC, making it 3-0. A UTSC player was wide open, and as the UTM defender was running towards the open player, the ball deflected off his leg and into the net.
UTM received a free kick close to the UTSC net but the ball hit the post and went out of bounds. UTM was not having any luck, despite the several chances they had to score. UTSC’s goalkeeper was saving every ball that came his way.
Finally, with only about five minutes left in the game, UTM scores their first goal. Similar to UTSC’s second goal, Melo put it through the legs of multiple UTSC players until it found the net. The game ended 3-1 for UTSC.
Co-coach, Ome Pius, gave his thoughts on the game: “To be honest, it was a disappointing performance from the team. We expected more but I feel like it’s the first game of the season [and] the chemistry is still good throughout the team.” Pius commends Scarborough for their performance during the game. He closes by saying, “It’s a long season, so we’ll just bounce back from this.”
The men’s D-League indoor soccer team plays every Monday night at the Varsity Centre, in downtown Toronto.