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CSL Week 19

Rocket Robin

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Result of the Thursday September 13, 2007 CSL game between Serbian White Eagles and Toronto Croatia played at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke at 8:00pm.

23 min…Croatia Boris Tomac GOAL…TC Hayden Fitzwilliams crossed in low from left that has Tomac stop ball and send low 20 yard shot up middle into low right side of net under diving goalie Djordje Radan.

60 min…White Eagles Gabriel Pop GOAL…SWE Alex Braletic cross from left from 15 yards has Pop kick 8 yard ball into left corner of net past goalie George Azcurra.

Final Score:…Serbian White Eagles………..1……………Toronto Croatia……….1………..

Attendance was about 1600 on this mild evening. It’s the largest crowd I’ve seen this year at a CSL game and at least double what most White Eagles home games have drawn that I’ve been at.

This was a very fast paced game with plenty of exciting action. Both teams had their chances but White Eagles took over in the last half hour of the game and Croatia was just hanging on at the end.

White Eagles had trouble scoring again just like last week against London City but this time they had far fewer chances against the solid defence of Croatia. Some of their second half chances included at 50 minutes when SWE Nenad Stojcic get a shot from 20 yards that deflected off a defender and hits the cross bar and Gabriel Pop blasted the 5 yard rebound over the net. At 57 minutes SWE Sasa Viciknez’s 25 yard freekick from left had a defender head the ball up but SWE Alex Braletic blast a shot that tipped to Pop and his 7 yard shot from right was saved by flying goalie George Azcurra. In added time Viciknez headed the ball over the net from 8 yards and on the last play of the game ad Viciknez send in a cornerkick from the right that had SWE Mirko Medic head the ball wide left from 8 yards in a crowd of players in the box. George Azcurra was brilliant in the nets for Croatia.

Isaac Raymond was tonight’s referee and he kept the game under control by giving out some timely Yellow cards for sliding tackles in this close checking game. The crowd was well behaved. It was 100% pro Serbian as mandated by the league for this designated as a ‘home’ game for White Eagles. Tickets were only distributed through the White Eagles and Serb ethnic shops and social clubs. (Croatia will have their ‘home’ game at this stadium on Tuesday October 2nd). The league was more concerned with stopping potential trouble than maximizing ticket sales for the game. They held it on a Thursday night to limit out of town troublemakers from coming to Toronto. Security guards gave people a patting down to make sure no one had objects to throw or flares to light. Players’ benches were placed on the far east side of the field for the first time this year to be away from the crowd. The tickets were limited to one side so no one would be in the stands causing fights. And…..it worked! This game was a great success. Most CSL teams play each team in their own division three or four times on the schedule but these teams were limited to the minimum twice. I could see the league giving them four games next year if the other game turns out this well run. The big gate helps the league and the teams.

I heard a rumour from a reliable source that BMO Field offered to rent out their stadium for $80,000 although they will rent it out for only $140.00 per hour to his supporter’s group later this year. Who needs that?

Rocket Robin


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Result of the Friday September 14th, 2007 CSL game between Portuguese Supra and Trois-Rivieres Attak played at Brockton Stadium in Toronto at 7:15pm.

36 min…Attak Elkana Mayard GOAL…TRA Boubacar Coulibaly freekick from 50 yards has leaping Mayard in crowd of players in box twist 5 yard header just under bar past goalie Michael Silva.

Final Score…Portuguese Supra………..0…………Trois-Rivieres Attak………1……….

Attendance was about 30 on this mild but rainy night. It rained before the game and turned the field into a bog. During the first half it rained either hard or light and changed intensity about three times during that time. The game was delayed 20 minutes before it started and that worked temporarily but soon it was pouring again.

The league has not held a game at this stadium in downtown Toronto this season. Over the years it has been the home of the Supra but needed improvements. The players can at least use the dressing rooms under the stands now rather than across the street to the school. The field is had nice grass but another game like tonight’s played on the wet and it will be chewed up again. A bank of lights at the south east corner was not working so the field was somewhat darker at the one end after the sun went down. The scoreboard doesn’t work but that’s no different than other years. There are not screens/ads along the west fence so there was not much encouragement to come inside. Neighbours can always watch the game from the shelter of their porches. I was most comfortable watching the game in the first half in a four foot concrete crawlspace under the stands. I wanted to keep my notes dry. In the stands the Supra had two guys playing drums throughout the game so the music sounded like Brazil if you just concentrated on the play and not the surroundings. The rain did stop in the second half so I went over to the fourth official to watch any subs coming into the game. There were no line-ups written out so I figured out who was playing from older ones as I’ve seen each team within the last few weeks.

Jon Paul Piques earned the shutout for the Attak with a few important stops. The Supra were caught more than a few times on offside calls and mistimed passes but played competently on defence. The wet field played the great equalizer as the Attak had their play slowed down by the field conditions.

Rocket Robin


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Result of the Sunday September 16th, 2007 CSL game between Canadian Lions and Trois-Rivieres Attak played at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough at 4:00pm.

34 min…Lions Evan Milward GOAL…Lions Ryan Reese rush on right wing and cross from 20 yards beats goalie Vincent Cournoyer and Milward waiting on left boots in 5 yarder to short left side of net.

38 min…Lions Darryl Gomez GOAL…Lions Ryan Reese rush on right crosses from 20 yards and Gomez heads ball in from 6 yards just under bar.

65 min…Attak Darko Kolic GOAL…TRA player centered ball from right end line and Kolic blasts 10 yarder to right side of net.

69 min…Attak Nicolas Lesage GOAL…Lesage gets cross from right and heads 8 yarder into right corner of net over flying goalie Matthew Willis.

Final Score:………Canadian Lions……..2………….Trois-Rivieres Attak……..2……….

Attendance was about 60 (and that included a team of Under-8 ballboys) on this mild afternoon with a bright sun in the west. The game was delayed from starting thirty minutes by a teenage Canadian football game with American four-down rules. That group sure maximized the length of their permit by not clearing the field in any hurry even after their game was over (that made it hard to get cross town for a 7:00pm game (tonight’s other post to read that).

Lions got a great start. They are one of the lower five teams in the league fighting for the last three playoff spots although they have been getting much better results in the last month and are a pretty hot team. The Attak are one of the top five teams and could pass St Catharines Wolves for first place in the National Division. That was one reason this game was a big surprise that this game was so even.

The Attak closed in during the second half to earn the tie. Both teams had chances to win this game right up to the last kick. At the 70 minute mark TRA Darko Kolic popped an 8 yard header over the Lions net when he got a cross from the right. Two minutes later it looked like Kolic was offside but no call was made and he chipped the goalie from 20 yards but defender Sasha Kosanovic got back to kick the ball away. At 86 minutes, TRA Joe Di Buono’s 8 yard blast on left was stopped point blank by goalie Matthew Willis. One minute later Willis caught a twisted header from 12 yards in crowd of players sent in from a cross from the right. At 90 minutes, referee Angelo Gertsakis gave TRA Elkana Mayard a Yellow card for diving in the Lions box although it looked like he was victim of a sliding tackle. One minute into injury time, Lions Milos Vlicinic rolls a 10 yarder from the right just wide left of post. At 93 minutes on the last play of the game, TRA Olivier Brett’s 23 yard freekick is just arced over the net.

Evan Milward looked like he was the lone striker for the Lions but he was usually joined by wingers Ryan Reese and Milos Vlicinic. Nicolas Lesage and Joe Di Buono were forwards for the Attak and were joined by halftime sub Darko Kolic for more offence.

This was a great game for excitement with both teams playing for the win and end to end action. It’s one of the best games I’ve seen this year.

Rocket Robin


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Result of the Sunday September 16, 2007 CSL game between North York Astros and Windsor Border Stars played at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York at 7:00pm.

9 min…Astros Diego Maradona GOAL…Maradona’s low 12 yard shot from right is into low right corner of net.

14 min…Astros Diego Maradona GOAL…Astros Alessandro Bancheri threads through ball up middle to charging Maradona and he kicks 15 yarder low into center of net.

22 min…Astros Diego Maradona GOAL…Astros David DiPlacido 35 yard freekick from left has defender head ball away and Maradona blast 22 yard shot to top right corner of net. Wow!

65 min…Astros Diego Maradona GOAL…Maradona slides low 22 yard shot beyond diving goalie Brandan Lomax who dived too soon and came up short.

70 min…Border Stars Rob Malbasis GOAL…WBS Radek Papiez cross from right of box 20 yards has WBS Aaron Byrd shoot from left and defender partially clears but Malbasis pounds 10 yard rebound into low left of net.

72 min…WBS player’s cornerkick from right has play whistled down because of tackle in the box and referee Amato DeLuca award WBS a Penalty kick.

73 min…WBS Aaron Byrd GOAL…Byrd’s Penalty kick shot is low to right corner of net with goalie Tomar Chenkinski diving left.

Final Score:……..North York Astros………4…………..Windsor Border Stars………2……….

Attendance was about 25 on this mild evening which got very cool by the end of the game. I made it cross town in time thanks to a bit of delay in getting this game started.

Diego Maradona was given the captain’s armband tonight for the first time and scored all the goals for the Astros despite playing as a midfielder with Alessandro Bancheri and Jose Perez as the actual forwards. Maradona certainly has improved his position on the team from coming on as a sub late in games at the beginning of the year.

The Border Stars brought precisely eleven guys tonight and no coach so their bench was actually empty the whole game. There were about six guys on their team which I’d never seen before. Just seeing no substitutes (which the league will fine them for) I expected the Astros would wear down their opponents and win with fresh legs at the end. With their fast start, that made that game plan unnecessary.

I asked captain Jeff Hodgson after the game about their situation. They have an affiliation with four local teams to use players. Now that’s gotta be rough with a four hour drive back to Windsor. They are a different team when they have a full team and subs. They have only one home game left and are fighting with Astros for one of the last three playoff spots among the lower five teams in the league.

Rocket Robin


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