Toronto Croatia kept their playoff hopes very much alive with a 3-1 victory over North York Astros at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan Tuesday, the only game scheduled in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.
Croatia forward Leo Laurito broke a 1-1 tie late in the game, then added a second to give his side the important win as the playoff picture in both divisions of Canada’s only complete professional soccer league continues to be wide open with only two weeks to go in the regular league schedule.
Toronto Croatia opened the scoring just before half-time when midfielder Zvjezdan Kresic scored off a free kick just outside the penalty box to beat Astros’ goalkeeper Peyman Beheshtipaur for 1-0 at the break.
North York Astros leading goalscorer Daniel Jaroch tied the game 1-1 at the 64th minute with a strike to the right of Croatia goalkeeper George Azcurra, it was Jaroch’s eighth of the season, but Toronto Croatia went ahead 11 minutes later on Laurito’s first goal when he picked up a long cross from the right to shoot past Beheshtipaur.
Laurito’s second of the night came at the 85th minute mark for a 3-1 final score.
The win vaulted Toronto Croatia into third place with a 7-7-3 WLT record for 24 points, five behind Western Conference leaders Hamilton Thunder and three points behind second place Border Stars.
North York Astros remain in fourth place in the east with a 3-10-4 record for 13 points—both Astros and Croatia have three regular league games remaining.