FC London Men Bounce Back In Thriller
Fresh off their first loss of the season one week prior, the FC London men’s team was hoping the friendly confines of German Canadian Field would help them get back onto the winning side, as they took on Darby FC on Saturday afternoon.
With a light drizzle in the Forest City, the match started with a torrential downpour of offense. Connor Wilson got things started for London in the 9th minute when he headed home a beautiful back-post cross from teammate Ethan Gopaul. The lead would be short-lived, however, as just five minutes later Darby responded off a set piece from a free kick just outside the 18-yard box. Le Rohne Young headed it into the net and tied the game early. Darby would continue on the offensive as Kashiff De Jonge volleyed the ball home after taking a nice touch off of his chest inside the box. But the seesaw battle would continue as Connor Wilson picked up his second goal of the match in the 30th minute to tie the game at two. A four goal first half certainly set the table for an entertaining second.
While the second half started off with a couple of good chances from both teams, neither team could break through. That is, until the 68th minute when Darby capitalized on an opportunity to give them the 3-2 lead. Much like their other lead in the game, this one was also short-lived by Darby, as just three minutes later, London captain Randy Ribeiro hit an absolute screamer of a shot from 35 yards out past the Darby keeper, to tie the game once again. The highlight reel goal certainly sparked something in London, as they continued to press. They would eventually draw a penalty kick after Connor Wilson was brought down in the box. London sent Mohammed “Reza” Nafar to take the kick, as it was his birthday. Reza was shockingly stopped by the Darby goalkeeper Zaikos as he dove across the net to deflect it wide. That gave London a corner kick, though, where Belal Halbouni headed home the go-ahead goal in the 86th minute. Nafar would then make amends for his missed PK in the 90th minute to ice his proverbial birthday cake, and give his team a 5-3 win.
A thriller of a match which saw eight goals get FC London back into the win column and advanced them to third place in the League 1 standings. They will be back in action with another home game on June 16th at German Canadian Field when they take on the OSU Force at 4:00PM.