Master’s Futbol Academy Wins League1 Ontario For The First Time
While neither Master’s Futbol Academy or FC London had made it to the League1 Ontario finals before, last night’s bout between the two was an instant classic: Master’s FA scored with its first shot on target, and that was par for the course as an Akeem Priestley hat trick guided his side to a 4-1 League1 Ontario title victory last night.
Priestley – a former Jamaican international who once played for Forge FC’s CONCACAF Nations League rivals Antigua GFC – scored the game’s first goal in the 30th minute after collecting a nice pass from Shaquille Agard. Master’s continued to dominate possession throughout the first half, with FC London’s frustration showing in the 41st minute when Randy Ribeiro found himself getting a red card for a studs-up tackle.
Master’s would bag their second in the 73rd after Daunte Walkes got onto his own rebound, with Priestley getting his second goal off of a quick corner kick just three minutes later. Four minutes after that, the 34-year-old secured his league-winning hat track by smashing home the ball from 20 yards out.
Showing an impressive never-say-die attitude, FC London bagged itself a consolation goal in the 90th minute courtesy of Ben Vyfschaft, who slid in to collect a through ball and beat Master’s goalkeeper Spiridon Koskina to it to ensure his club at least made it onto the scoresheet.
The title win means that Master’s Futbol Academy has earned itself a spot in the 2020 Canadian Championship alongside PLSQ title winners AS Blainville, who secured their third-straight PLSQ title last month.
Of course, now that the semi-pro league is viewed as a stepping stone to CPL clubs, it’ll be interesting to see if Master’s FA will be playing in the next iteration of the Voyageurs Cup without some of the key players who were there this season. Francis Ameyaw, who has scored nine goals in eighteen appearances for Master’s, would be one of the more obvious targets.
This year’s League1 Ontario playoffs offered plenty of challenges for the coaches of each qualifying team, with many regular season players leaving to continue their post-secondary educations, while other players like Duran Lee, Justin Stoddart, and Oluwaseun Oyegunle found themselves recruited by Canadian Premier League clubs ahead of the CPL roster freeze.
There will likely be more League1 Ontario to CPL transfers ahead of the 2020 season, though even if Master’s Futbol Academy loses some of its regulars, fans can take solace in the fact that Master’s FA will get to enjoy its first ever Voyageurs Cup run next year against professional opposition.
There’s also the question of if the club can retain its League1 Ontario honours, too. While both Vaughan Azzurri and the Oakville Blue Devils have won the league twice, no club has ever won the league twice in a row, which means Master’s could have another big first on the menu for next year.
Source: League1 Ontario
Header Photo Credit: Kevin Raposo for League1 Ontario