(WINDSOR, ON) – Eager to get the 2016 season underway, the Windsor Stars were looking forward to hosting ProStars FC at Alumni Field on Saturday at the University of Windsor. Despite the overcast and chilly day, the Stars didn’t take long to get on the score sheet en route to a 3-nil victory.
In just the 4th minute, Celso Carapau was sent through and caught the far corner behind ProStars keeper Alessandro Famele. The teams then settled down with much of the play involving short passes in the midfield until the Stars’ Mike Pio headed the ball to the back of the net from a free kick in the 22nd.
The ProStars were not out of the game, however, and did not let up in their attack toward Windsor’s goal and keeper Kyle Vizirakis. Only five minutes after the Pio goal, the ProStars attempted a shot from 22 yards out, which Vizirakis gathered in to negate the danger.
“Feels good coming with a clean sheet in the first game,” Vizirakis said after the game. “The team worked well and hopefully we can keep it up for the year.”
But, just two minutes later, Windsor took advantage of a defensive lapse when Carapau stole the ball and buried it for his second of the match and a 3-nil Windsor lead.
The ProStars’ Borowski was awarded a yellow card in the 35th minute, and it would be the first of six for the visitors. However, the game was never a chippy affair as the two sides played cleanly throughout.
With the half in the books, the goal of ProStars was to win or draw the remaining 45 minutes. That they did despite the continued push forward by the Pio brothers, Carapau, and the rest of the Stars. But for bad luck, both Mike Pio and Carapau could have scored further, as well Jack Sargent struck the goal post from 30 yards.
“Jack just saw a really good opening and he took it for the hot one,” Stars’ head coach Shane Topalovic. “He’s got a great shot. Same with Chris (Al-Youssef). We’re not going to hold back for anything.”
After three minutes of extra time, the sides retired with Windsor holding the advantage with their first win of the campaign.
ProStars’ head coach Omar Jbaihi found some learning points for his young players from the loss.
“It was a rough start. I think some of the players weren’t ready for the level of intensity,” Jbaihi said. “We asked them to win or tie the second half. I think we achieved that. We definitely saw an improvement from the first half to the second half. It’s about improving half to half, game to game.”
Vizirakis also saw room for improvement for the Stars going forward.
“I think we can improve on switching the ball through the middle, as well as possession in the middle,” the Stars keeper said. “I think we’re too rushed and too direct. We need to just move the ball along and keep the ball on the ground.”
Carapau was ready to off-load the credit to the midfield for his success on the day.
“Chris Al-Youssef and Jack Sargent really helped out in the midfield today,” he said. “They made it really easy for everyone else to do their job.”
Windsor will continue at home with a May 7 match against the Oakville Blue Devils at 4:00pm again at Alumni Field.