MATCH REPORT: City Islanders Jump Past TFCII, Keep Playoff Push Alive

VAUGHAN, Ontario – The Harrisburg City Islanders’ Jose Barril tallied midway through the second half to lead his side to a 1-0 road victory against Toronto FC II on Sunday at the Ontario Soccer Centre. With the win, Harrisburg takes the season series, having also earned a 2-1 victory on May 24. Toronto posted a 4-2 win on July 10 during the three-game season series. Harrisburg moves ahead of Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings, improving to 7-14-4 (25 points) overall and 4-7-2 on the road. TFCII falls to 6-14-5 (23 points) overall and 3-5-3 at home. For TFCII, this marked the start of a five-game home stand before ending the regular season at the Rochester Rhinos.

Scoring:
68’ – HAR – Jose Barril (Josh Hughes)

Three Things That Mattered:

  • 1. The City Islanders had flirted with a goal on multiple occasions and broke through on the counter attack in the 68th minute. Josh Hughes rushed ahead and left the ball for Jose Barril with open space from about 25 yards out. Barril’s curving ball caromed off of the crossbar and hit the ground just over the goal line. To make sure it counted, Hughes dove into the scene with a header, but it was awarded for Barril who scored his team-leading sixth tally of the season. For Hughes, it was his first assist of the campaign.
  • 2. On back-to-back occasions in the 25th and 26th minutes, Harrisburg nearly came through with the game’s opening goal. The first attempt came from Cameron Vickers, whose left-footed shot was bound for the upper left corner. TFCII goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo made the stretching save to parry the ball away for a corner. Then on that subsequent corner kick from the left, Cavalluzzo took a gamble to try and punch the ball away. When he came up empty, the City Islanders’ Bobby Warshaw was wide open for the right-footed volley. He started to celebrate, but Toronto’s Bubacarr Jobe made the goal-line clearance to keep the match scoreless.
  • 3. Saturday’s match saw the return of midfielder Mo Babouli, who made his first TFCII appearance since May. Babouli’s strong two-way play was prevalent as he looked comfortable on the ball throughout the match and made some good runs. The one setback, though, came on set pieces as multiple corner kicks and free kicks were played too short and easily disrupted by Harrisburg’s defense. In 2015, Babouli led TFCII with four goals and four assists. This year, Babouli has been with the MLS side, making five starts and 14 appearances overall. However, over the past month, he was an unused sub for four matches and joined the TFCII squad to get some significant minutes this weekend.

USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Jose Barril, Harrisburg City Islanders –
Barril put Harrisburg on the score sheet and set up several other chances for the City Islanders en route to a road victory.

Upcoming Games:

City Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds – Aug. 27, 7 p.m. ET, FNB Field

City Islanders vs. Bethlehem Steel FC – Aug. 30, 7 p.m. ET, FNB Field