A goal by second-half sub Jacobo Sanfeliu in the 85th minute helped Toledo Villa FC secure its first win of the season with a 2-1 victory at Dayton on Wednesday night.
Sanfeliu nabbed a mis-touched ball from the Dayton defense off the long kick from Toledo keeper Jordaine Jaeger to give him possession outside the opposition's box and was able to bend the ball around Dayton goalkeeper Alessandro Malterer for the go-ahead goal.
"They probably didn't do a great job of containing some of our wide play, I thought we were able to sort of penetrate them pretty consistently with the wingbacks," said Toledo Villa coach Matt Johnson. "I thought maybe we could have done just a little bit better job of combining after that to create better scoring chances. But we still had half a dozen really high-expected goal moments. A lot of that came because we were able to break them down wide."
With the win, Toledo improves to 1-1-0 on the season and sits in 4th place of the Valley Division with three points while first-place Fort Wayne sits atop the conference with 10 points in four matches. Villa hosts Kings Hammer FC (1-1-2) — which drew 2-2 at Cleveland on Wednesday night — this Saturday, 7 p.m., at Paul Hotmer Field on the campus of the University of Toledo.
"Certainly the nature of this league is that the games come fast," Johnson said as the Starting XI was adjusted from the home opener, a 2-1 loss to Fort Wayne FC. "We're aware that you've got to try to manage time management and try to rotate players a little bit and keep people fresh. "Sometimes rotation means playing 60 minutes instead of 90 or 30 minutes instead of 90. So we're definitely aware of it."
Sanfeliu came into the game in the 62nd minute, replacing Eduardo Barros. It was one of three subs at that time and Toledo replaced three more players in the 71st to give fresh legs late in the match. A run by Sanfeliu and others showed the ability to beat Dayton after breaking their press near the backline.
"It was good to get a win. Taking three points away from home is always a good thing," Johnson said. "It certainly helped us get an early goal just to settle everybody down."
Ali Nassar got Toledo on the board, scoring on a free kick in the ninth to put the Red & Black in the lead quickly. That helped Toledo take control of the first half, Johnson said.
In the second half, Dayton was able to capitalize on a penalty by Eli Shope on Brandon Osterholt who was taken down in the box. Rio Moskowitz stepped to the spot and slotted the ball in the 55th to tie the match.
"I thought we came out just a little bit flat after halftime, gave up the PK, and then we were a little rattled for the next five minutes or so," Johnson admitted. "After we kind of settled down though, I thought we did a decent job of controlling the second half as well."
Johnson noted that Toledo did a much better job defensively in picking our moments to press. "I think Fort Wayne was able to break us better than Dayton was," he said. "A little bit of that was, we were better. A little bit of that is Fort Wayne's a better team.
"We simplified a couple of things in how we defended and how we press and I think that showed we were just a little bit more solid and a little bit more difficult to break down."
Johnson said they won't have much time to change anything too drastically for the club's second home match of the season against Kings Hammer.
"I think it's going to be more about just trying to tweak what we did today and make sure that we're prepared to do what we want to do in the game on Saturdays as much as anything," he said.