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CSL Week 8

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Result of the Friday July 6, 2007 CSL game between Toronto Croatia and Canadian Lions played at The Hershey Centre in Mississauga at 8:30pm.

13 min…Croatia Boris Tomac GOAL…TC Hayden Fitzwilliams cross from 25 yards near left sideline has Tomac step in front of defender and one-touch kick deflecting ball 10 yards from left into right low corner of net.

45 min…Croatia RED card…Head coach Miodrag Akmadzic is ejected at the end of the half for am incident when the half was whistled over and players got into a pushing match leaving the field. Lions’ players Nikola Miodrag and Lovemore Ncube were given Yellow cards for their team.

51 min…Lions Marko Janjicek GOAL…Janjicek gets pass bounced to him and one-touch chips 12 yarder over goalie into right side of net.

57 min…Croatia RED card…Jonatan Bustamante picks up his second Yellow card of the game for a tackle on Lions Aram Doski who’d knocked over a Croatia player in the TC end a few seconds earlier.

58 min…Lions Joe Rini GOAL…Rini blast after freekick is low from 20 yards up the middle and goalie George Azcurra get piece of it but momentum spins ball over him and the ball pops into the net.

65 min…Lions Evan Milward crosses ball into box from right and Lions Dejan Jakovic has his shirt tugged and referee Greg Fabi awards a penalty kick.

66 min…Lions Dejan Jakovic Penalty kick is low and to right and diving goalie blocks shot. Lions Milward crosses through the box from 5 yards but no Lions player is close enough to make a play.

89 min…Croatia Tomislav Ples is mashed between charging Lions goalie Matthew Willis and a defender in box after he’d been popped a through ball into the Lions box. A Penalty kick is awarded.

90 min…Croatia Hayden Fitzwilliams GOAL…Fitzwilliams Penalty kick is kicked to top left corner of net with goalie diving for low kick.

93 minutes…game ends.

Final Score:…………Toronto Croatia……….2……….Canadian Lions………..2………

Attendance was about 225 on this warm evening with a bright sun in the north that was only a factor for the first 20 minutes of the game.

This was the first home game of the season for Toronto Croatia. It was played at the new Hershey Centre soccer field (outdoors) and played on modern field turf. The field is wider than the bandbox they used to play at Memorial Field in Streetsville over the last few years. The park is near a flight path to Toronto Pearson International Airport and medium size planes were flying overhead as often as every two minutes. The grounds are surrounded by a chain link fence, very high in the end zones so balls don’t go too far. The side fences are maybe only eight feet tall and at only the 2 minute mark a Croatia player knocked a ball over the side fence and it bounced over the gravel path and another chain link fence down into the swamp below. I wouldn’t expect they could find that ball. Swamp? Uh-oh that means mosquitoes; just like old Memorial Field! The other limit like Memorial Park is there is no scoreboard.

Toronto Croatia hadn’t played any CSL games in the last few weeks as they went over to Croatia and took part in a tournament. They won and brought home two trophies for beating the other ex-pat teams. Now it was announced last night they can be called “The best Croatian team from outside Croatia”. Domagoj Sain was named the MVP in that tournament but was not a starter or sub for tonight’s game.

Tonight’s game was really rough with a lot of bumping hard tackles from both teams. I counted nine cards between the players including the Red card. Croatia assistant coach Tom Granic came on at 77 minutes and within two minutes had picked up a Yellow card.

Lions’ coach Predrag Milkovic made three changes at halftime to shake things up by bringing in Ryan Reece, Marko Janjicek, and Joe Rini. It did work because they’d been outplayed in the first half.

Croatia coach Miodrag Akmadzic wasn’t allowed to stay just outside the fence behind the player’s bench so he got into the mini-van holding the sound equipment for the game at the centre line and shout out instructions from the open roof. It made him look like a tank commander.

Canadian Lions still have not won this year but now have three ties in eight games. Toronto Croatia has not lost this season and has four ties in seven games.

The teams meet again this weekend on Sunday evening and I wouldn’t look forward to being the referee in that game as I believe hostilities will be renewed. Both teams had members of the 2006 Brampton Stallions. That team isn’t operating in the CSL this year. Lions Nikola Miodrag played earlier this year for the PDL Toronto Lynx.

Rocket Robin


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Friday - July 6, 2007

London City strong

A determined London City toppled St. Catharines Wolves 2-1 and a jubilant Toronto Croatia just back from their victory over world Croatian teams in Europe, were held to a 2-2 tie by winless Canadian Lions in the two games played in the CSL Friday.

Just when St. Catharines were expecting to pull clear at the top of the National Division, the Garden City side ran into a quick-of-the-mark London City which went ahead on a strike by Garson Hazel at the 4 minute mark, a goal that held to halftime. The lead was cancelled out one minute into the second half when St. Catharines’ striker Carlo Arghittu was brought down in the box by City defender Roy Beishuicen and Matt Waddington beat London ‘keeper Tommy Bianchi from the spot.

Midfielder Camillo Gonzales scored the winner for London City at 54 minutes to give the Southwestern Ontario team an improved 2-5-1 WLT record for 7 points. St. Catharines are at 3-2-2 for 11 points.

It was a rough and tumble affair at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga where the home side went ahead on a goal by Tommy Ples at 27 minutes for a 1-0 lead at the interval. Joe Rini tied the game for Canadian Lions at 57 minutes and Mario Janjicek put Lions ahead at the 70th minute mark.

Canadian Lions failed to score from the penalty spot soon after taking the lead and Hayden Fitzwilliams tied the game for Croatia at 88 minutes.

There were 11 yellow cards handed out with Jonathan Bustamante of Toronto Croatia accounting for two and, therefore, a red in the second half. Croatia coach Milodrag Akmadzic was also ejected from the game when tempers flared in the second half.

Toronto Croatia have 13 points from an unbeaten 3-0-4 record, while Canadian Lions are winless at 0-5-3 for 3 points.

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Result of the Saturday July 7, 2007 CSL game between Italia Shooters and Portuguese Supra played at Mount Joy in Markham at 8:00pm.

2 min…Shooters Kadian Lecky GOAL…Lecky gets forward pass and his 18 yard shot from the left has goalie Michael Silva get a hand on it as he flies across goal but the ball deflects into the left side of the net.

14 min…Shooters Kadian Lecky GOAL…Lecky takes low shot from 12 yards from right and sliding defender on goal line can only deflect it from left corner into right side of net.

46 min…Referee Emil Schultz awards penalty kick to Supra.

47 min…Supra Helio Pereira Penalty kick shot to right is low and diving goalie Camilo Benzi pushes ball wide right for a cornerkick.

49 min…Supra RED card…Gavin Fuller draws his second Yellow card for a sliding tackle on the sideline. The Shooters player was injured which at that time made three Shooters players laying on the field at the same time including the goalie Camilo Benzi. Supra’s manager Victor Cameira was ejected two minutes later for arguing on the sideline.

63 min…Shooters Kadian Lecky GOAL…Lecky rush in on right and slides 18 yard shot from right into left side of net.

67 min…Supra Ronald Nicholas GOAL…Nicholas rush on left and slides 20 yard shot into low right corner of net beyond substitute goalie Pablo Alvarado.

70 min…Shooters Jason DeThomasis GOAL…DeThomasis 20 yard blast from right is into left side of net.

76 min…Major pushing/punching match between players breaks out.

…………Supra RED card…Carlos Zebollos for punching Jason DeThomasis.

…………Shooters RED card…Jason DeThomasis for punching Carlos Zebollos.

…………Shooters RED card…Bill Androutsos for rushing onto the field to ‘separate’ the combatants. Androutsos had been subbed out at halftime and was sitting on the players’ bench in street clothes.

81 min…The game has still not resumed but referee Emil Schultz after repeated warnings and being constantly being sworn at abandons the match.

Final Score:…….Italia Shooters…….4………Portuguese Supra………1……….

Attendance was about 200 on this hot evening. The game was played at Mount Joy, the home of the Markham Soccer Club. They were having a tournament with kids teams coming from as far away as Australia and Rochester New York. I’m pretty sure I’ve been here before but I first drove 5 km past the entrance as this area is no longer farmland and the park is surrounded by subdivisions. The quirk about this field is it slopes from the center to the east sideline. The slope is so severe from the sideline we couldn’t see a player that had been knocked down and was lying injured on the west sideline. This field is natural grass but has no scoreboard. The grounds are ringed with more swampland. Ack, two nights in a row as the Hershey Centre field had swamps beside them too. Pack bug spray for evening games!

Kadian Lecky scored a hat trick and was a crowd favourite for running over to the sidelines with his fingers to his lips like he was saying “Shhhhh”. Shooters played a crowd pleasing game with lots of offence but they should’ve tightened it up after going a man up in the early second half but they continued to let Supra get a player behind the defenders and goalies Camilo Benzi and then, after 62 minutes, Pablo Alvarado had to make some good saves. Supra’s Helio Pereira had missed some good chances in the first half including chipping the goalie and hitting the bar at 45 minutes and than booting a ball over the net from 12 yards one minute later during injury time before the early second half penalty kick. Michael Diluca and John Cardosa had also missed good chances. Yami Nicholas hit the bar with a header from 8 yards at 20 minutes.

I had moved to stand on that side of the field at halftime to keep better track of the substitutes. The fight that ended the game was near the team benches. A good thing this was kept away from the kids in the stands because what would ejections and fights be like without the “F” word being used quite often? Jason DeThomasis claimed he was punched first and he looked like his eye would be swelling shut very shortly and he routed through the cooler on the sideline for some ice stalling around after being ejected. His father head coach Tony DeThomasis was the person who had finally been able to get him to the sidelines after the fight.

I was a bit surprised that the players or club officials couldn’t restore order because when the referee said the game was ‘abandoned’ it gave me an idea that the whole game would have to be replayed or points would be docked. This is what happened in the last minute of the WC qualifier between Denmark and Sweden with the score tied and some drunken fan ran onto the field and tried to hit the referee. I didn’t get a chance to fill in some notes I wanted to ask after the game (like why was the penalty kick awarded) because I felt noone was in the mood but I did get Kadian Lecky to pose for a picture for my more detailed game report. The next day’s league announcement had the score stand at 4-1 so both teams just have to worry about how many and how long the suspensions will be.

Rocket Robin


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Result of the Sunday July 8, 2007 CSL game between Canadian Lions and Toronto Croatia played at Birchmount Stadium in Toronto at 6:00pm.

57 min…Toronto Croatia Boris Tomac GOAL…TC Mario Kulis 25 yard freekick from left is tapped over to charging Tomac who cuts 25 yard shot up middle and scores as ball tucks in just under bar on right over goalie Matthew Willis.

90 min…Lions Evan Milward GOAL…Lions Nikola Miodrag on right sideline near center line passes ball over defender and Milward gets ball around TC Ante Brkic and from 25 yards chips goalie George Azcurra (who was waiting on the edge of box for defender’s pass-back to make clearance) and ball bounces into middle of open net.

94 min…game ends.

Attendance was around 100 on this hot humid overcast evening with rain starting in the first half and ending in the second. Attendance was helped by a halftime 8 on 8 boys’ soccer game from the Scarborough soccer club. They used the whole field and got to play in the worst of the rain. There were also about 15 officials from Serbian White Eagles. They are scheduled to play Toronto Croatia near the end of this month.

This game was sure a contrast from Friday’s game. That fact wasn’t lost on referee Paul Bottos who said to me “Well that was certainly different than Friday’s game”.

He had been an assistant referee in that game which featured eleven cards including ejections. This game I counted only three which included some garbage time calls to Toronto Croatia for wasting time on a throw-in and yapping at the referee for another done just minutes before the tying goal. Banned Croatia coach Miodrag Akmadzic watched the game from the stands.

There weren’t a great deal of on-target chances. Croatia defenders kept most of the Lions shot from the perimeter. Lions had four cornerkicks within ten minutes in the first 15 minutes of the game. Although Lions started the game better than their Friday game, coach Goran Miscevic made changes at halftime bringing in Evan Milward, Marko Jancicek and Ryan Reese to have a fresh offence.

Birchmount Stadium has a scoreboard which hasn’t worked all year for Lions games. Maybe that hasn’t changed but league officials should ensure that the DJ gets to keep a copy of the game sheets the WHOLE game instead of just for the opening introductions. Milward’s goal and moment of glory was ruined by some pro-Croatia prankster offering his own name as the scorer. I knew that was wrong and gave him the correct name as I’d copied the rosters from Friday night’s game…also adding the twist “and tell (name omitted) his car is being towed”. The DJ really rocks but keeps to the league rules of not playing music while the ball is in play. His sound byte of Scarborough’s own Mike Myers as his Dr. Evil character saying “Could you give me a frickin’ bone here?” seems most appropriate. Geez an extra copy of the roster shouldn’t be a technological marvel.

Another tie still has Lions winless so far this year but now with four ties in nine games. Croatia is still unbeaten with a record of three wins and five ties.

Rocket Robin


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