June 24, 2019 – In a battle of play-off positioned teams, the North Mississauga Panthers put in a stalwart defensive effort; however it was not enough to defeat the powerhouse Oakville Blue Devils. Losing in heartbreaking fashion 2-1, at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre on Friday evening. 

Oakville got on the board first with a 30th minute effort from Reshon Phillip, putting the ball past Jared Maloney after sustained pressure from the Blue Devils. The goal was Phillips first of the campaign in his second appearance for the Blue Devils. 

A goal in the 42nd minute by Jordan Prescod leveled the score slotting the ball past Lucas Birnstingl into the left side of the Blue Devils net. This is Prescod’s third of the season. 

Brandon Duarte gave the Blue Devils’ a 90th minute winner after sustained pressure, giving the next door rivals the victory. Daurte leads League1 Ontario with six (6) goals on the season. 

“We had a quality side that had a lot of the ball,” said Coach Balta. “We defended well for most of the game. Unfortunately, they had a touch of brilliance at the end.” 

Photo Courtesy of Martin Bazyl

Despite outshooting the Blue Devils eight (8) to six (6), including each having four shots on net, the Oakville Blue Devils had much of the possession, and were prevented from having good shots by means of another excellent North Mississauga defensive effort. 

The Panthers were dealing with injuries, particularly to midfielder Lee Victor Massunda, who has two goals this year for the club. Coach Balta said that having him would have helped with their scoring, and they’re looking forward to getting him back this week. 

With the loss, the Panthers are tied for ninth place in League1 standings with 11 points, ten behind the Blue Devils, who sit in second place based on goal differential (tied for first with Alliance United FC). The Panthers do have a game in hand having only played 7 matches. 

Balta hopes to work on his team’s offensive output, but he’s also very hopeful about his team’s potential. 

“We have to be able to compete in the final third,” said Balta. “But we were very competitive against the first-place team … we just have to continue every week to work on the areas we need to improve.” 

Standings:

  • Oakville Blue Devils (7W, 1L, 21pts, 2nd Place) 
  • North Mississauga Panthers (3W, 2L, 2D, 11pts, 9th Place) 

Scoring Summary: 

  • Oakville Blue Devils Reshon Phillip 30th 
  • North Mississauga Panthers, Jordan Prescod, 42nd 
  • Oakville Blue Devils Brandon Duarte 90th

The Panthers play Vaughan Azzurri at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre Field #1 on Friday, June 28th. Kickoff time is 7:45 p.m. We hope to see you there!