The SIGMA A1 squad played to a 2-2 draw versus the Unitersity of Toronto on Friday April 4th at Varsity Stadium. The match was the second between the two teams in the last month. Sigma Technical Director and coach of the A1 squad Bobby Smyrniotis, fielded his squad of 17-18 year olds in their offensive scheme as usual. The game got off to a great pace from the beginning with Sigma pressing often into the UofT half of the field, and holding possession very well in all parts of the pitch, "As always I require our players to defend starting in the other teams half. It is in this area of the field we hope to gain possession of the ball, and if not we will force the other team to play long and our defenders are more than capable of settling the ball out of the air and starting our next attack".
The UofT team relied on quick counterattacks and deceptive runs by their strikers as they played along the offside threshold on many occasions. After the 15th minute mark SIGMA began to take the game to the opponent with a crisp passing game utilizing their wingers and movement off the ball to stretch the opposing defense. The result of this play was two beautiful goals in the first half along with one cross bar and two other great opportunities. UofT also had their chances on goal and came closest after a pin point cross found their charging attacker with a gaping goal only to have his header miss the mark.
The second half saw a very intense and crisp game from both teams with the tactics remaining quite the same from both sides. In this half UofT was able to capitalize on their opportunities with the tying goal coming two minutes from time. SIGMA kept good possession in the second half but was unable to make it count in the final third and had one more attempt ring off the top of the crossbar. All in all this was a good match for the SIGMA A1 squad and provided coach Smyrniotis the opportunity to see the whole squad in action. "It was a very good match for our boys. They followed what we talked about pre-game and made the adjustments required to play an older squad as we learned the previous weekend while in the US. In the end the score is irrelevant as the boys kept good possession and created opportunities in both halves. Of most importance is the fact that I was able to see all 18 players on the pitch. These matches are great for our boys as they must produce more than the technical and tactical aspects of the game; it teaches them to be physical and they coped very well today."
The SIGMA A1 team will continue their series of friendly matches throughout the month of April and May where they will showcase in front of several US university coaches who will be making the trip Toronto to see them.