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C.S.L. Week 10

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London City City

Sat, July 15, 2006

The game would have been much closer if not for an impressive goalkeeping effort.


And it all started out so well, too.

Twelve minutes into their Canadian Soccer League game last night against the National Division-leading Oakville Blue Devils and London City was up 1-0.

But a minute later, in what can only be described as a brain cramp by City goalkeeper Ibrahim Hadzic, the game was turned on its head.

Hadzic was red-carded for deliberately handling the ball outside the penalty area and the Blue Devils made their numerical advantage pay, cruising to a 5-1 victory at Cove Road Field.

Bernard Al Chaar scored for City (1-5-3) in his first-team debut, but was taken off a minute later to bring City down to 10 men. Judah Hernandez (17th minute), Gavin Russell (22nd and 85th), Sam Hazam (31st) and Huffman Eja'tabe (70th) scored for Oakville (6-2-1).

It could have been a much closer game were it not for goalkeeper Sabrahima Traore, who robbed Al Chaar in the ninth minute and stopped an Eris Tafaj penalty in the 58th (denying Miguel Knox on the rebound) and a Johan Wikman header in the 64th.

It was small consolation for City manager Harry Gauss.

"That's the crap life hands you, but you've got to be able to turn it around and get your heads up instead of giving up.

"That's what was good about the second half. At least I saw guys out there working hard, because they have to motivate themselves in that situation."

The only bright spot for City was the play of Al Chaar, who is nothing if not persistent. He called Gauss in preseason, requesting a tryout. Gauss said he couldn't afford to pay him, but Al Chaar still showed up and it paid off.

"I told him I wanted to play anyway," said the native of Lebanon, who arrived in London by way of Nova Scotia. "I believe in myself and I just wanted to play the way I know I can play. I just tried to be self-disciplined and wait for my chance."

"I just wish that red card didn't happen," he said, "because the game would have been totally different."

Al Chaar may have done enough to warrant a start in City's next game tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Toronto Supra.

"I'm proud of him," Gauss said. "That's the way to step up."

City returns home Friday to play Toronto Serbian White Eagles at the Cove at 8:38 p.m.



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Saturday - July 15, 2006

Decisive Italia victory

Italia Shooters gained their second league win of the season with a decisive 3-0 shutout of Laval Dynamites at the Bois-de-Boulogne Stadium at Laval, Quebec Saturday night.

While Italia had the edge for most of the game and the result was never in doubt, it was played not without incident with three players, two from Italia and one from the home side being sent off.

Italia midfielder Des Humphrey opened the scoring for Italia Shooters with a penalty goal at the 22 minute mark when Laval goalkeeper was judged to have tripped an Italia forward and Stalin Cardenas made it 2-0 just before the interval.

Forward Andrae Rollins struck the third Italia goal at 87 minutes for a 3-0 score, but not before Laval midfielder Mourad Bellari and Italia forward Kadian Leckie were shown the red card following an altercation at 46 minutes and goalscorer Humphrey was dismissed at the 77 minute mark for a similar offence.

The win established Italia in third position in the International Division with a 2-3-3 WLT record for 9 points, while Les Dynamites are struggling in sixth position in the National Division standings with a 1-3-4 record and 7 points.

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There were five games in the CSL tonight:

Brampton Stallions 6, Caribbean Selects 0

Italia Shooters 2, Laval Dynamites 1

St. Catharines Wolves 4, North York Astros 1

Toronto Supra Portuguese 2, London City 2

Windsor Border Stars 1, Oakville Blue Devils 0

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Mon, July 17, 2006


TORONTO -- London City scored in injury time to pull out a 2-2 tie with the Toronto Supra last night in Canadian Professional Soccer League action.

London's Johan Wikman headed in Eris Tafaj's free kick from 14 yards to complete the comeback in the 91st minute. Toronto had built a 2-0 half-time lead on a penalty kick from Gianni Annisi and a free kick from Ansil Pensada.

Playing without eight starters due to injuries and suspensions, City fought back in the second half. Nis Stendevad pulled London within one in the 58th minute.

City is back in action Friday night when it plays host to the Toronto Serbian Eagles at Cove Road field. Game time is 8:38 p.m.

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