Play. Inspire. Unite.
In the last match of the day, fans and parents witnessed a tightly contested game between London Alliance FC and Ajax SC in the Boys U16 division of the 2023 Ontario Indoor Cup.
It was Ajax who struck first, coming out the gates hot in the third minute when a long ball forward fell to Kristopher Taylor, who dribbled past a defender and smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give Ajax the early 1-0 lead.
Following the goal, Ajax opted to sit back and stay staunch defensively. The strategy nearly paid off in the 11th minute when Ajax allowed London Keeper, Adam Isac, to dribble the ball deep into their half. Isac was immediately closed down as he struck a shot and the rebound went straight back towards the London net, resulting in a foot race between him and an Ajax defenseman, with no one in net. Isac did not win the race but was not far behind and did not give up, diving on the ball to make a huge save after a touch that was likely not needed.
It was another lapse by a goalkeeper - this time Ajax’s Lucas Cousins who was only playing in net due to an injury - that created the next scoring chance. In the 15th minute, Cousins received a back pass from a defender and was immediately closed down as he cleared the ball. With the rebound falling straight to the attacker, Cousins’ fouled the attacker in the process of making a last ditch diving effort, that resulted in a penalty. London would convert the penalty to draw the game at 1-1.
Following the equalizer, both teams opted to play with some caution, sitting back and counter attacking. Both teams would create an even amount of decent scoring chances, but the game would remain tied after the full-time whistle, requiring penalty kicks to decide the winner.
It was Lucas Cousins who came up big in the shootout. After letting the first four penalties in, Cousins made a huge save on the fifth shot. He then turned around and smashed home Ajax’s fifth shot to make them the 2023 Boys U16 Ontario Indoor Cup Champions.