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Late Goal Gives Toledo Villa FC 1st Home Win of Season, 3-2

By Jon Siccote, 06/08/23, 6:15AM HST


Late Goal Gives Toledo Villa FC 1st Home Win of Season, 3-2

Jacobo Sanfeliu's 3rd Goal of Season Tops Visiting Cleveland Force FC

The ending of Toledo Villa FC's match Wednesday night almost became a near carbon copy of Saturday. Instead of a late goal by the visitors stealing a win from the Red & Black, this time Toledo found an even later response to pick up its first home victory of the season, a 3-2 win over Cleveland Force FC.
"I told you Saturday, we have to believe in this team," said Jacobo Sanfeliu, who scored in the 89th minute of the match after Cole Parete had a brace with an early goal and a late goal to level the match. It was Sanfeliu's third goal in as many games as Toledo is unbeaten in the past trio of matches.
"Big things are coming," Sanfeliu said. "This is the start of a good winning streak. I'm pretty sure we will win on Saturday. And keep going."
Sanfeliu's premonition from the weekend seemed to dim quickly in the match as Parete scored for Cleveland just 20 seconds in.
Off the kickoff, a defender for Cleveland skied the ball up the field and a streaking Parete gathered the ball after Toledo defender Tristan Rose lost his balance measuring the ball. That left Parete in a 1v1 with goalkeeper Jordaine Jaeger, who could not make the stop.
"It's tough to start the game that way," said TVFC coach Matt Johnson. "Tristan's really been very, very good for us. It looked like he had a little bit of a stumble and he just kind of misread it. Unfortunately, he plays a position where a stumble as the middle back of the back three can cause goals. And it did on that one.
"I think it looked like for the first 4-5 minutes we were rattled a little bit by that."
Rattled, but playing with heart, Toledo rallied back with a strong push in the ninth as Jayden Da connected on a header that was pushed out of touch. Although an ensuing corner did not connect on frame, Toledo continued to put pressure on Cleveland. Another rush three minutes later saw Eduardo Borras find Da again with a soft touch and this time the striker connected for his second goal of the season to level the match.
With the offense being their best defense at times, Toledo continued to attack into the second half, as Ali Nasser knocked in his second of the season in the 51st.
Force keeper Andrew Cooke had looked to pass the ball back into play but Nasser took control quickly looking to get it on net. Instead, he kept the ball in his feet and eluded a defender, picked his spot, and slotted it home to make it 2-1.
A slew of subs began around the 70th and Sanfeliu replaced Barros in the 80th. Cleveland began some late pushes and capitalized in the 88th as Parete scored his second of the night to tie the game, capitalizing on a ball that bounced off Toledo's defense and found its way to his feet for the goal.
"There's no game where we can feel like we're going to 'have it,'" Johnson said. "We've shown that the last two games that we can have a lead late and we still don't have it. We don't count anything before the game is over and the score is in our favor.
"I just thought we were a little bit flat and obviously it was a mistake giving them an early goal. It took us a little while to kind of find our feet in the game and to grow into it, to gain confidence to start to find our energy."
The victory slots Toledo (2-1-1) in second place at the moment in the Valley Division of USL2 with seven points while still having a few games in hand. Frontrunner Fort Wayne FC (3-0-2) has played one more match while Cleveland (1-2-3) has already reached the halfway point of its season in the defeat and sits in fifth with six points.
"It sounds really, really nice," Sanfeliu said about nabbing three points this time instead of the one they got on Saturday after holding the lead so late against Kings Hammer. "We really needed that. We're a team that works hard and we're looking for these wins.
"3-2 is always a nice way to win."
Toledo heads to Buffalo, which is 1-1-2 so far this season, on Saturday.