United FC blanks Sigma FC to secure playoff berth
GUELPH – Guelph United FC clinched a playoff berth in the League1 Ontario Men’s Premier division Tuesday with their second victory in three days.
United shut out Sigma FC of Mississauga 2-0 at the Gryphon Soccer Complex to extend their lead atop L1O’s West Division and claim one of the division’s two playoff berths in the process.
Guelph United FC 2 Sigma FC 0
United defeated Windsor TFC 4-2 in Windsor Sunday.
United becomes the first team in the history of the league to qualify for the playoffs in their first season.
Tuesday’s game was a makeup game for one that was postponed Sept. 11 due to a suspected COVID-19 exposure on the opposing squad. The game also allowed United and Sigma to pull even with the rest of the division in terms of the number of games played.
The locals grabbed the early lead as Jace Kotsopoulos netted his 13th goal of the season in a chippy affair as the referee would hold up his yellow card nine times in the contest with it happening seven times in the second half.
United was without the services of forward Tomasz Skublak who was serving a one-game suspension for his accumulation of yellow cards as he had been shown six of them this season.
Reserve Parmpreet Johal completed the scoring in the 86th minute with his first goal of the season for United.
“This was such an important win for us,” United goalkeeper Svyatik Artemenko said in a news release. He had the clean sheet, his fifth of the season and first since August. “We were going into this match knowing that a victory would secure us a playoff spot. The boys put their bodies on the line for this victory and I couldn’t be (prouder) to make the playoffs in Guelph United’s first ever season.
“With a victory (in one of our final two games), we secure first place in the Western division so we have to ignore the fact that we are in the playoffs already and play like our season depends on it.”
United lead the division at 9-1-0 and are followed by Blue Devils FC of Oakville at 7-1-2, FC London at 7-3-0, Sigma at 4-3-3, Scrosoppi FC of Milton at 4-5-1, ProStars Brampton at 3-5-2, North Mississauga SC at 1-8-1 and Windsor TFC at 0-9-1.
Next match on United’s schedule is their final regular-season home game as they’re to play the Blue Devils Sunday at Alumni Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.
United is to wrap up its regular season Oct. 23 with another match against Sigma, this one at Mississauga’s Paramount Fine Foods Centre. Game time is 1 p.m.
- Guelph Sports Journal