North Mississauga Panthers wilted in extremely hot conditions during matchweek ten play vs. the second place Vaughan, ultimately losing the battle 2-0 to a possessive Azzurri side.
"The game played under exceptional heat," said Panthers assistant coach, Trevor Bertrand. "Vaughan took control of the middle, while North Mississauga looked sluggish and lazy - we struggled to put passes together.
Azzurri found the breakthrough goals off the boot of profilic forward Nadya Gill (18') and Nicole Lyon (62'). In pursuit of goals, and to break up the rhythm and comfort of the Azzurri play, Panthers attempted to engage a high defensive press.
"Going down one nothing we decided to press higher for intervals as the warm conditions limited the time we pressed," explained Bertrand. "The game went back and forth in the second with no real chances created by both teams, however Vaughan got a penalty on a hand ball." Lyon would dispatch the penalty, and the Azzurri would keep the ball to see out a match in difficult conditions for both sides.
With the win the Azzurri keeps pace with leaders Durham United F.C.
The Azzurri has 19 points, only a slim margin behind the leaders on 21 points, although Durham do have a game in hand. Vaughan plays Saturday August 1 vs. Pro Stars FC at Victoria Park Stadium, Brampton - 4 p.m. kickoff.
North Mississauga Panthers occupies fourth place, with ten points from nine matches, but fifth place Sanjaxx Lions has seven points and holds two games in hand on the Panthers.
North Mississauga plays Woodbridge Strikers on Sunday August 2 at Vaughan Grove, Woodbridge - 5 p.m. kickoff.