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Melo Brace Takes North Miss To 3-1 Win Over Sanjaxx

By League1 Ontario staff, 06/06/16, 10:45AM EDT


Photo: Martin Bazyl

North Mississauga Panthers men grabbed their first win after a tough start to their League1 Ontario campaign, beating Sanjaxx Lions 3-1 after a brace from forward Joey Melo (64', 90'). 

"When a team starts losing, it becomes tangible, it becomes fear - fear of giving up the late goal or whatever," said North Miss head coach, Rick Titus. 

"Sometimes that fear becomes unmanageable so I reminded them at half-time of how much they love the game and the sport and to go out and play with passion and enjoyment."

"Without wins it can become depressing to the players, so they stop losing the love and passion for the game," he added. 

"In order not to succumb to that they need to go out and play like they did as children, with love."

Photo: Martin Bazyl

North Miss had started on the front foot, getting a goal from Antoine Paul (21') with not even a quarter of the match played, but Sanjaxx were also up for the game and Lael Daniel (32') equalized for the hosts late in the half. 

Going into the break, both teams were back on equal footing and it remained to be seen which side would have the fortitude to push for the win. 

"They are a talented group but I reminded them that it means nothing without hard work," said Titus. "I told them that we need one or two guys to step up and lead properly and they did that in the second half."

Joey Melo did the stepping up for the visitors, knocking in his first just after the hour and his second on the stroke of full time.

Photo: Martin Bazyl

"We just gave away two silly goals," said Sanjaxx head coach, Peter Mellon. 

"Two aerial mistakes, we didn't pick up markers and at this level you can't afford to do that."

"We were in the game, especially towards the end we had a couple good chances, but these mistakes need to stop because it's hurting us," he added. 

Joey Melo (Photo: Martin Bazyl)

The three points for North Mississauga moved them into fifth place in the west division, level on points with Oakville Blue Devils but behind on goal difference and having played one more match than Oakville.

North Miss will play fourth place Toronto FC Academy on June 11 (8 p.m.) at Hershey Centre 1, Mississauga. 

Sanjaxx stayed on three points from four matches, sitting only two points behind North Miss and with a game in hand on the Panthers.  

Sanjaxx return home to Monarch Park on June 11 (6 p.m.) to play third-place Windsor Stars. 

Photo: Martin Bazyl