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Toledo Nabs 1st Win of Season in Home Debut

By Jon Sicotte, 06/01/24, 5:45AM HST


Andrew Shaffer's goal makes the difference

Villa Avenges Early-Season Loss to Buffalo with 1-0 Victory; Hosts Dayton Saturday

After an opening-season road defeat in Buffalo, Toledo Villa FC repaid the courtesy of being rude hosts, capturing a 1-0 home win on Wednesday night for the team's first win of the season.

Toledo midfielder Andrew Shaffer's goal in the 55th minute was all that Villa goalkeeper Brendan Graves needed as he picked up his first clean sheet of the season as well.

Shaffer helped start the play that led to the goal with some fancy footwork from an inbounds pass and fed it to wingback Ali Nasser.

Nasser played the ball in from just inside the left side of the 18-yard-box to the feet of forward Dakota Jonke. Jonke was close in on Buffalo keeper Andreas Kokoska so he flicked the ball back outside the six-yard box to Shaffer, who beat Kokoska low to his left for the goal.

One of the big talking points from the match came in the 68th minute.  Aitor Jorde put in a violent tackle on Toledo central midfielder Cam Territo which sparked a coming together between both teams.  The tackle earned a straight red card from the referee.  As things died down, the referee elected to also send off Ali Nasser for an alleged violent conduct.

With both teams down to 10 men, it remained a fiesty affair with teams digging deep in the final moments.  Toledo was able to hang in for the 1-0 victory, giving Brendan Graves the clean sheet on the evening.

The win helped bring Toledo closer to the top in the USL2 Valley Division standings, as they sit in the fifth spot after three matches (1-0-2).

Fort Wayne FC is atop the standings at 3-0-0 with nine points while Cleveland Force FC is in second after two matches with a win and a draw against Kings Hammer.

On May 25, Toledo fell to Fort Wayne, 1-0, in a tight-knit contest that saw the only goal come on a penalty kick by the host's Aaron Sanchez in the first half.  What led to the penalty was a takedown of Fort Wayne's Aboubacar Traore in the box by Toledo's Brady Horn. Sanchez calmly slotted the ball past Graves for the lone tally.  Toledo was able to hold the lion's share of possession, however just could not break down the resolute Fort Wayne defense.

Toledo continues its homestand as it hosts Dayton Dutch Lions this Saturday. Dayton has dropped all three of its matches so far this year by an aggregate of 5-1.

Toledo then heads to Cleveland on Tuesday, June 4.