CP article: Lynx Suffer First Loss
posted on Voyageurs message board by Winnipeg Fury (original story by Neil Davidson).
Lynx suffer first loss of A-League
TORONTO (CP) -- Injuries and some woeful finishing took
their toll Tuesday night as
the Toronto Lynx surrendered their title as the
last undefeated team in the A-League
with a 1-0 loss to the Hershey Wildcats.
The defeat dropped Toronto's record to 6-1-2 in the 25-team league
improved to 5-7-1. Toronto was 5-0 at home prior to the game.
A mistake at the back cost the Lynx a first-half goal and, despite
long periods of
sustained pressure in the second half, they were unable to
convert their chances.
Toronto midfielder Brian Ashton had a
glorious chance to tie the game in injury time
after dribbling past the
goalie but fired his shot into the side netting.
The Lynx were
hurting coming into the match, missing injured captain and defender
Reda (thigh) and defensive midfielder Lyndon Hooper (hamstring).
Perhaps as a result, the Lynx lived dangerously at the back in the
first half and paid for
it with a goal in the 35th minute when a short back
pass by defender Adrian Serioux,
replacing Reda, was intercepted by Steve
Klein. The Hershey striker had a clean run at
goal, slotting a shot in the
corner of the goal past a diving Theo Zagar.
It was just Zagar's
fifth goal conceded in 795 minutes this season.
"I don't want to
find too many excuses but we're missing some key players on our
Toronto coach Peter Pinizzotto. "And you hate to stretch your lineup but
had some great chances in the first half. Their goalie came up big."
Colombian striker Juan Arango suffered a hamstring injury in the
first half, joining a
list of Lynx wounded that also includes David DiPlacido
and Edgar Bartolomeu.
Toronto carries just 18 players and may have
to find some new faces in advance of
Sunday's home game against Rochester.
It was Union and Employee Night at Varsity Stadium, but it seemed
most of the
brothers and sisters had taken the night off. The crowd was
woefully small, with the
nine mascots on hand practically running out of
patrons to greet in the empty stands.
Counting an exhibition game
against Italy's Reggina, Toronto has averaged about
3,300 fans this season.
But few came out on an unseasonably chilly night Tuesday.
said 1,427 tickets had been sold. Where their holders were was a mystery.
It was a depressing sight, coming in the middle of Euro 2000 with
such a high profile.
The mascots, meanwhile,
combined for a four-a-side game during halftime, with the
announcer enthusiastically describing passing plays between the Pizza
Dough Boy and the Big Chicken as cartoon music belted over the sound system.
After yet another missed chance by the Lynx early in the second
half, a fan yelled
"Bring back the mascots." But the Big Chicken had left the
The right side of the Lynx defence looked vulnerable
from the get-go, especially
matched against the speed of Hershey striker
Jamel Mitchell. The marking was slack at
the back and in the midfield, giving
the Wildcats plenty of room to operate.
Up front, the Lynx
finishing was dreadfully slack.
Toronto had its chances but was
stopped twice in the first half by Hershey goalie Rich
Sletvold, who got his
body in the way of close-range shots by Arango and midfielder
The Lynx attack misfired repeatedly in the second half,
which Toronto dominated, but
an acrobatic Sletvold was equal to the task when
the shots found their target.
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