The North Mississauga men’s Panthers played not with a whimper, but a bang, beating Toronto Skillz F.C. 9-0 in League1 Ontario match played at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough on Sunday, July 14th, 2019. 

Darren Gertiesingh and Rahim Thorpe both netted hat-tricks with Nicola Russo and Jordan Prescod also contributing in the win. Skillz FC also helped by scoring an own goal for the ages. 

Photo Courtesy League1 Ontario

Gertiesingh and Thorpe scored five of the team’s first six goals, which all came in the first half, and Thorpe added another in the 50th minute to open the second half. Russo’s goal came two minutes after Thorpe’s and Prescod’s goal came in the 89th minute. 

Thorpe got his hat trick despite only playing 64 minutes in the game, while Gertiesingh also put on a passing clinic during the game. 

The margin of victory for the Panthers was the largest in any League1 Ontario men’s game by any team this year. But despite the offence putting on a show, Coach Balta emphasized that the whole team from the back to the front contributed to the win. 

“A lot of our goals were team goals,” said Balta. “We were able to get the ball up well and get behind them.” 

The win gives the Panthers 17 points on the year, which ties them for seventh place in League1 Ontario standings. The nine-goal differential also gives the team 22 goals for and 13 against on the year, which becomes important in a potential tiebreaker. If teams are tied for points and the teams are also tied in the win column, breaking a tie comes down to goal differential. 

This would be particularly beneficial should the Panthers be tied for eighth place, as the top eight teams make the playoffs, which they could be tied for seventh with four games left on the season. 

“You never want to miss a spot because of goal differential,” said Balta. “Hopefully, this makes us a lot healthier.” 

This game featured the debut of new player Adel Rahman at midfield, who Balta said was an excellent contributor. He played 78 minutes for the club against Toronto Skillz F.C. on Sunday after being released from Pro Stars FC as their season goes from bad to worse. 

It also featured the return of midfielder Yousef Helmy. The central midfielder is making his way back from injury sustained prior to the season. Having Yousef for the stretch run of the season is definitely a boon to the playoff hopes of the Panthers. 

Scoring Summary NMSC: 

  • 1st Half: D. Gertiesingh 9th; R. Thorpe 25th; Own Goal (Skillz) 30th; R. Thorpe 34th; D. Gertiesingh 38th; D. Gertiesingh 45th; 
  • 2nd Half: R. Thorpe 50th; N. Russo 52nd; J. Prescod 89th 
  • Clean Sheet: Jared Maloney

The Panthers’ next game is a return home to the Paramount Fine Foods Centre Field (Outdoor Field) on Friday, July 19th, when they play the Woodbridge Strikers. Kick-Off is at 7:45pm.