August 16, 2019 League 1 Ontario--North Mississauga Panthers SC vs Sigma FC (game report by Rocket Robin)

  
Results and details of the Friday August 16, 2019 League 1 Ontario game between 
North Mississauga Panthers SC and Sigma FC played at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre 
in Mississauga at 7:45pm.  

45 min (2nd Half)...NMP Adel Rahman GOAL...NMP Darren Gertiesingh receives a cross from the left 
at 15 yards on the right and taps ball forward to charging Rahman who sidefoots 10 yarder down middle 
over sprawling goalie Jack Cristini.  

86 min...NMP Adel Rahman GOAL...NMP Darren Gertiesingh holds ball on left end line and rolls 
pass into box.  Rahman charges in to blast 8 yarder into top right corner of net.  

90 min...NMP Adel Rahman GOAL...NMP Adel Rahman blasts his 25 yard freekick down the middle hitting 
a man in the wall.  The rebound bounces back to him and he blasts shot down middle between players 
and into net halfway up on left side. 

Final Score:...North Mississauga Panthers SC........3...........Sigma FC.........0.......

A mild evening with a breeze that kept the mosquitoes away.  

Attendance was an overflow of possibly 400 people filling up all the aluminum bench stands and along 
the sideline to the cornerflags.  There were a lot of youth players and parents from North Mississauga's 
programs turning up.  A mini game was held with a mix of NMP girls and boys on each team at halftime.  
NMP has a supporters' section which the last time I was here was confined to behind the end line 
in the north but tonight they had one section of the stands.  

Also taking place was the awarding of a fan financed/inspired trophy—The Credit River Cup.  No it's not 
another financial institution but the name of a river that cuts through Mississauga.  The group who 
commissioned it are the Sauga City Collective whose long term goal is to have a CPL team formed 
in Mississauga.  This competition involves NMP and Sigma and Pro Stars FC (although their L1O team play 
in Brampton, their youth teams are in Mississauga).  With L1O scheduling, there are only three fixtures 
in the competition.  Pro Stars had a 1 win, 1 loss record.  If Sigma had won tonight by the exact score 
of 1-0 it would have created an awkward dilemma of all teams having a 1-1-0 record, and two teams having 
scored 3 goals each and would come down to goals against.  Also scheduling meant that Sigma didn't 
officially have a 'home' game in this tourney while Pro Stars had two except that Sigma and NMP share 
the Paramount Fine Food Centre grounds (until last year named the Hershey Centre).  

Jared Maloney earned the shutout for NMP with a few key saves.  

Referee Kim Lee ended up giving out six Yellow cards but none to until 59 minutes.  Most were for 
professional fouls of grabbing to stop break outs and a few for time wasting.  There seemed to be 
a problem with underinflated balls early in the game with at least two ball subs that caught my eye.  
Tempers flared at 81 minutes with a dust up in near the cornerflag which looked like it was settled 
with a Yellow card to each team.  

Hero of the game was NMP Adel Rahman with all three goals tonight.  He and his brother Navid both 
started the season with Pro Stars and came over together by their choice before the trade deadline.  
I've been tracking the brothers for years.  They went out to the first CPL Open tryouts in Halifax 
and both made the final cut.  They played for Pro Stars over the years but both went over to the 
Slovakian league to play for second tier KFC Komarno and Achilles '29 of the second tier Dutch league.   
Both brothers, born in Germany grew up in Canada, have been called up to the Pakistani national team 
but it looks like so far only younger brother Navid has been capped.  

The game brought out a whose-who of L1O faces although I didn't see Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie.  
L1O commissioner Dino Rossi and Anthony Totero from the CPL offices.  The league's #1 photographer 
Martin Bazyl who I hadn't seen in quite a few weeks--he answered me after the game that the league 
was just using his file shots from their archive (they've done that in previous seasons) but this game 
they knew would be a big deal.  Yes, the celebration after the game was impressive with the trophy, 
Sauga City and NMP supporters groups, banners and flags, and handheld flares lighting up the area around 
the players.  I'd been worried before the game when I was asking around before the game so I could take 
a picture of the trophy before it got dark (it hadn't arrived yet) and team officials from both sides 
to my question asking it's whereabouts answered “There is?” that it wasn't as publicized as the groups 
social media let on.   

I read a tweet the day before from Sigma FC congratulating thirteen of their players for returning 
to school at different NCAA and Canadian universities.  I asked Sigma FC head coach John Zervos before 
the game how many had left already and he answered they were all gone.  That's a lot of players to lose.  
It's happened in past years.  Past history has had Sigma blast off to a 9-0-0 start then fizzle 
as the team brings in younger players and by playoff time it's a team of high schoolers.  Last season 
was their only L1O campaign where that wasn't as profound as they had a lot of overaged players hanging 
on to their roster because they knew there'd be the new CPL forming and many players plus then head 
coach Bobby Smyrniotis would transfer over to Forge FC.  Tonight goalie Jack Cristini was the youngest 
player listed as a '2003' which makes him 15 or 16.  

Gone back to school from Sigma are Baj Mann, Rahman Bello, Faisal Gahffur, Andres Delascio, Malik Smith, 
Noah Hodson, Bilal Mehran, Kyle Bimeik, Brendan Auguste, Johnathan Kisse, Kofi Awauh, Ty Hyde, 
and Reggie Laryea.  Laryea is attending York University and his brother Richie plays for Toronto FC.  

Best non-scoring plays of the game were at 18 minutes when Sigma Tyriq Armstrong recovered a poor 
freekick by the NMP goalie at 30 yards on the left and took a 20 yard shot that the flying goalie pushed 
wide left of the post.  28 minutes had NMP Sundin Esperance take a cornerkick from the right that 
NMP Ivica Sunjka leapt to pop an 8 yarder from the left over the net.  31 minutes had Armstrong pass 
across to Sigma Leaford Allen who ran to the left along the 20 yard line then pushed a pass 
to Sigma Elijah Larin (yes younger brother of Kyle Larin) who shot a 15 yarder that the goalie flew 
to save on the left post.  45 minutes in a flurry of action had Esperance cross from the left 
and the charging NMP Adel Rahman headed an 8 yarder up the middle that hit the left post. 54 minutes 
had Sigma Larin centered a ball after a few players missed and he blasted a 20 yarder down the middle 
well over the net.  62 minutes had NMP Darren Gertiesingh take a cornerkick from the left short 
to Adel Rahman who rolled the ball across to Esperance who shot a low 25 yarder through a crowd of players 
that the goalie dove to the right post to stop.  65 minutes had the NMP goalie step to the left to catch 
a through ball pass ahead of a charing player at 10 yards.  Next minute had NMP Jordan Prescod roll 
a 15 yarder near the left end line through the 6 yard box just wide right of the post. 70 minutes had 
Sigma Christian Samaniego take a 35 yard freekick down the middle over a group of players but just wide 
left of the post.  78 minutes had Esperance cross to the charging Sunjka head the ball forward at 8 yards 
but fall over in front of the net.  81 minutes had Esperance with a 30 yard freekick from the right 
that the Sigma goalie batted away on the left post.  An NMP player headed the ball from the left back 
into the 6 yard box and the goalie punched that away too.  Recovering that ball started the dust up.  

The field is on the flight path to nearby Pearson Airport and planes were coming in to land it seemed 
like every two minutes.  Suddenly at 65 minutes I noticed that every plane was taking off and using 
this airspace flying westward—same frequency but by now it was dark.    

Tonight's result from the L1O prospective, with this the last weekend of the regular season,  means 
North Mississauga finishes at 8 wins, 5 losses, 2 ties for 26 points.  That puts them all alone 
in sixth place and clinches a playoff spot (top eight of sixteen teams qualify).  

Sigma's result means their record falls to 8 wins, 4 losses, 3 ties for 27 points.  That's good for 
a tie for fourth place with Masters FA but Masters will play Saturday against last place OSUF travelling 
here from Ottawa.  

Rocket Robin
robing@eol.ca
twitter @RocketRobin01  

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