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CPSL Rogers Cup Quarterfinals

Rocket Robin

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Result of the Sunday October 3rd, 2004 CPSL game between Toronto Croatia and Windsor Border Stars played at Memorial Park in Streetsville at 7:00pm. This was a Quarterfinal game in the Rogers Cup.

8 min...Toronto Croatia Halburto Harris GOAL...TC Velemir Crljen cornerkick from right has WBS player pop up header and TC player have 10 yard shot blocked. Rebound to Harris and his low 8 yard blast is into left corner.

29 min...Toronto Croatia Jason Shannon GOAL...WBS Filip Rocca crosses from 30 yards on right that's caught by TC goalie George Azcurra who quickly takes long punt upfield and ball is headed by WBS defender from 40 yards back towards goalie except too slow and Shannon intercepts and his initial shot is blocked by goalie Shawn Murphey well out of his net. Shannon gets to ball and rounds goalie then rolls 15 yarder into open net.

46 min (1st half injury time)...Toronto Croatia Edin Kalic GOAL...TC Marko Milicevic runs up left wing and crosses from close to cornerflag over players in box, Kalic all alone at 10 yards on right for diving header into low left corner of net.

57 min...Toronto Croatia Edin Kalic GOAL...Kalic in crowd of players sends low 20 yard shot from left into low right corner of net.

88 min...TC Antonijo Zupan long run on right and WBS Jeffrey Hodgson tips him with hip high foot tackle inside box. Referee Gord Arrowsmith signals for a Penalty kick.

89 min...Toronto Croatia Rudy Spajic GOAL...Spajic blasts Penalty kick into low right of net with goalie crumpling in middle of net.

Final Score:..........Toronto Croatia.........5..........Windsor Border Stars..........0............

Attendance was about 250 on this cool evening with the temperature rapidly falling.

I was thinking Toronto Croatia would have trouble in offense before the game when I saw last week's hero Leo Laurito was not in the lineup. Their offense kept adapting to changes throughout the night. They started with forwards Edin Kalic and Jason Shannon but had to replace Shannon just five minutes after he scored when he couldn't recover from a hip injury. Andrew Saulez subbed in as a defender and Halburto Harris who had been playing defense moved up to forward.

George Azcurra earned the shutout for Toronto Croatia with some good saves especially on crosses. Defender Antonijo Zupan made some crucial clearances from the box. The players on the bench and the announcers were laughing on the sideline when they heard Rudy Spajic, who'd come in just three minutes earlier, would take the Penalty kick. The shot was perfect so I asked if I'd missed a joke. They said they let him take it as he didn't get much playing time.

Border Stars again came into the Greater Toronto area with few (three) of substitutes making all three at 70 minutes well after the game was out of hand. Midfielder Dan Kolic continued to play with blurred vision after taking a ball to the head when he got in a sliding tackle at 19 minutes.

Both teams finished with identical records of 9-7-4 and each team beating each other once during their two games this season although Toronto Croatia outscored Border Stars 3-1 in their head to head games with each team shutting out the other at home.

Toronto Croatia now moves into the Wild Card game against Rogers Cup tournament host Brampton Hitmen scheduled for Friday night at 7:30pm. They'll need the rest as they'd have to win that game, the semi-final Saturday and the final Monday. Roster wise they had more chance than Border Stars to have enough players to get all those games in.

Rocket Robin


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Result of the Tuesday October 5th, 2004 CPSL game between Metro Lions and Vaughan Shooters played at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough at 7:30pm. This was a Quarterfinal game in the Rogers Cup.

6 min...Shooters Mathew Palleschi GOAL...Palleschi takes low 18 yard shot from right that hits diving goalie Amandeer Saini and deflects up into top of net.

32 min...Lions Craig Patton GOAL...Lions player crosses from 25 yards on left, Lions Gabriel Salustius on right gives short cross from 12 yards to Patton whose 12 yard shot banks in off right post.

38 min...Lions Maxim Dorneval GOAL...Lions Hayden Fitzwilliams on left rolls pass into box for Dorneval to cut 8 yard shot from left into center of net.

53 min...Shooters Fitzroy Powell GOAL...Shooters Joey Todaro 30 yard freekick from left has Powell charge forward to head 8 yarder from right into short right corner of net squeezing it between goalie and post..

57 min...Shooters Mathew Palleschi GOAL...Palleschi eludes Lions defender and slides 20 yard shot from left under diving goalie into center of net.

66 min...Shooters Joey Todaro GOAL...Shooters extended pressure has cross from left to Todaro in crowd of players shoots 30 yarder into net just under bar in center of net.

70 min...Lions Darryl Gomez GOAL...Lions player sets ball on edge of box and Lions low 12 yarder is into low left corner of net without goalie Brian Bowes moving.

87 min...Shooters Fitzroy Powell GOAL...Powell is passed through ball setting up a 2 on 0 rush beating offside trap. Powell rolls 15 yard shot from right that's just rolled into left side of net beyond diving goalie.

91 min...Shooters RED card...Jason DeThomasis for ankle kicking Lions player from behind just outside center circle. Shooters Angelo Pollastrone had been laying injured deep in Lions end.

Final Score:........Metro Lions...........3.........Vaughan Shooters..........5........

Attendance started at about 40 for game time and may have increased to about 70 at its peak on this cold night although there was no wind.

The game was high scoring and end to end action but had three weak goals conceded by Lions goalie Amandeer Saini. Shooters goalie Brian Bowes didn't look that strong either.

The game got rough in the last 20 minutes with referee Angelo Gertsakis maintaining control as the Shooters stalled for time exaggerating knocks into injuries and delaying throw-ins and freekicks as they attempted to hang on. He offered a fair six minutes of injury time but the delays broke up the momentum of a Lions comeback attempt until the fifth goal put the game out of reach.

Shooters co-owner Cindy DeThomasis told me BEFORE the game that she was not a fan of the CPSL conference system and had argued for one table before the season began at league meetings. The Shooters found themselves in third place in the East whereas they had a record better than all the playoff teams in the West. She said Paul Sinisi was absent the whole season because of his changing shift at work. I'd missed Sinisi's memorable late second half appearances as a forward.

Mathew Palleschi's father was telling Saul from the NUKE soccer website that Mathew might get recalled for more trials with MLS Kansas City Wizards.

Shooters now move on to a 10:00AM game Saturday morning against Eastern Conference champions Toronto Supra at the Rogers Cup tournament in Brampton.

Rocket Robin


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