North Toronto forward Kyle Laborde (15') continued his run of goal-scoring form by opening the Nitros account within a quarter hour against Pro Stars FC, but it was a hat-trick by teammate Mirza Custovic (55', 83', 84') that really sealed the deal in the visitors 4-0 result over Pro Stars.
"One takeaway from today's match is Mirza [Custovic] - we usually play him wide and today we brought him into the middle and he scored a hat-trick," said North Toronto team official, Gary Fleming.
"We're going to be losing Kyle [Laborde] as he is going to Sweden, but with Mirza's play in that role today it is still looking good for us."
Mirza Custovic (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
An early error gifted North Toronto's Laborde the opener, and Pro Stars head coach Josef Komlodi said their gameplan against the opponent just didn't quite pan out in the end.
"We watched the Nitros games before and we knew it is a good team that can move the ball quickly," he said.
"I wanted to keep our team compressed and close up the spaces. In the first half we made a mistake and gave away a goal. We stabilized a little bit afterwards but in the second half we just became tired and it was an unfortunate result."
"Later on we put in some of the younger guys in because our primary focus is on developing our youth for high level," he added.
"Our hope is that our older guys can earn the result in the first half and the young guys would come in then to really change the game a bit. Unfortunately it didn't work out, we were too much in the hole today."
Kyle Laborde (Photo: Martin Bazyl)
Mark Rogal got a first clean sheet of the season for the Nitros on a day when everything seemed to go their way, but Fleming said the result was not without adversity.
"We knew it was going to be a hard game with the heat, and a grass field as well - we're not used to that," he said.
"We were going to play our game and set up properly defensively, we're always quite solid there, and then look for the spaces down the wings, which I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't really do."
"But playing on grass is quite different than the field turf so it takes the players almost a half to get used to how the ball moves," he concluded.
"We got there in the end."
Pro Stars FC will next play OSU Force on June 24 at Terry Fox South, Ottawa.
North Toronto Nitros will next play Oakville Blue Devils on June 25 at University of Toronto's Varsity Stadium, Toronto.
Mark Rogal (Photo: Martin Bazyl)