By: Matt Penstone
Heavy wind and rainfall weren’t enough to deter the crowd of Thunder faithful who filled the stands to watch their team defeat Durham College 1-0.
Saturday afternoon marked the this season’s home opener for the Algonquin College men’s soccer team as they hosted the Durham Lords from Oshawa.
A blocked free kick in the opening minutes from a wall of Thunder defenders set the tone of the game as Durham College was never able to get into a rhythm and were outclassed by the Thunder. Throughout the game, the majority of possession and scoring chances belonged to the Thunder and after a 40th-minute goal from Algonquin forward Trevor Turner the game was decided.
“It was a good game, it was just what we needed,” said Turner. “We wanted to get away with three points.”
The win over Durham gives the Thunder 3 points and places them at the top of the OCAA East division. The game itself was not without controversy as questionable calls on both sides of the field frustrated many.
A red card in the 60th minute for the Thunder left them defending their lead while playing a man short.
“We had to change our midfield, we had to go to a 4-4-1 to drop another player into the midfield and into the back and play one forward,” said head coach Jimmy Zito. “Kind of clog up the back and the middle parts so they have no chances to score.”
The change was an effective one as even down a man Durham’s chances were limited. The Lords’ best chance at an equalizer wasn’t meant to be as keeper Marco Brundia made a highlight reel diving save in the 76th minute of the game.
“We simply outplayed them.” said keeper Marco Brundia.
Brundia finished the game without surrendering a goal, which nets his first clean sheet of the season. The Thunder continued to attack in the final 10-minutes of the game despite being a man down.
Looking for a goal to seal the game, the Thunder were given a free kick just outside the penalty box in the 81st minute. The shot bounced off the post and wide denying the Thunder their second goal of the game.
A red card was given to a player on Durham College in the 86th minute and from there the Thunder continued to be on the attack until the final whistle blew, ending the game.
The Thunder wrap up a weekend of home games with a match against Fleming College from Peterborough and then are on the road to play against St. Lawrence College on Sept 19th.