When London City's Rob Della Croce was tackled to the ground last night by Hamilton Thunder defender Giovanni Annisi, it was nothing compared to the labour pains his wife was enduring, he said.
Della Croce left to play a Canadian Professional Soccer League game at Cove Road field, even though his wife Michelle was two centimetres dilated and beginning labour.
The midfielder knew his injury-plagued team could use him and so he left his wife's side and helped City to a 1-1 tie with the Hamilton Thunder.
"We're definitely not firing on all cylinders," Della Croce said, adding his wife gave him the green light to play, even though she was already experiencing pain.
"She reminds me every day of what she goes through," said Della Croce with a smile, clearly elated that his first child is on the way.
The tie leaves City in third place in the Western Conference, three points behind the Thunder.
City is 5-6-2 on the season while Hamilton is 5-2-5.
Karim Ben Sari, City's leading scorer with five goals, did the work on London's goal, which came in the 32nd minute.
He dribbled around two defenders and sent the ball along the ground in front of the Hamilton net for Abukari Adams to knock in.
It was Adams' first goal this year.
Kadian Lecky, who played for City last year on loan from the North York Astros, scored for Hamilton in the 57th minute.
City lost 2-0 to the Thunder nine days ago in Hamilton.
"(Tonight) is a solid result," Della Croce said.
Several City players are out of action with injuries, including midfielder Miguel Knox, who was kicked in the ankle by a Brampton player in the last minute of a Canada Cup game on Monday.
The Brampton player was given a red card.
London 1, Hamilton 1
London goal: Abukari Adams
Hamilton goal: Kadian Lecky
Next: City travels to Oakville for a game against the Blue Devils tomorrow at 6 p.m.