Toronto Sun: Questionable Call Lifts Lynx
by Winnipeg Fury

Questionable call lifts Lynx

Vignjevic's penalty kick gives Toronto semi-final opener

By MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

  Manuel Orellana may have been the most popular man at Varsity Stadium last night.

 A questionable foul call by the referee gave the Toronto Lynx the golden opportunity
they needed to defeat the Richmond Kickers 1-0 in Game 1 of their two-game A-League
Eastern Conference semi-final total-goals series.

 Game 2 is tomorrow in Richmond, Va., at 7 p.m.

 After Kickers forward Marco Ferruzzi made contact with Nikola Vignjevic in the penalty
area during the 36th minute last night, the Lynx midfielder fell and was awarded a penalty

 Seconds later Vignjevic delighted the crowd of 1,989 by putting the ball past Kickers
'keeper Michael McGinty.

 "I was pulled at the back of my jersey and I lost my step," Vignjevic said.

 While there is no doubt contact was made, the merit of the call was open to debate.

 Ferruzzi was in disbelief after the whistle. He waved his finger at Vignjevic, who was
slow to get up after the foul.

 "Toronto has a reputation at home for getting penalties called," Kickers coach Leigh
Cowlishaw said. "The referee shouldn't determine the outcome of the game, but he did."

 Most of the action was in midfield as both teams took few risks. McGinty made three
saves while Lynx netminder Theo Zagar stopped four shots.

 Although Zagar wasn't busy, Toronto's most valuable player this season was sharp
when tested. His best save came with three minutes remaining when he stopped a tricky
deflected shot off the foot of Ferruzzi.

 "(Zagar) played well, but it should have been a 0-0 game," Cowlishaw said. "It's a good
result for us going home."

 The Lynx, who didn't win a playoff game in their first three years in the league, have
recorded two consecutive post-season upsets.

 But to win their third in a row tomorrow, the Lynx (13-11-4 during the season) will
need to overcome fatigue.

 The Kickers (20-7-1) have opted to fly to Richmond today, while Lynx owners Bruno
and Nicole Hartrell will send their team on a 12-hour bus trek.

 "It's a sore point with some of the players," Lynx midfielder Adrian Serioux said. "We
wish (the owners) would understand that is hard on the players. We'll just have to
overcome it."

 Meanwhile, in Game 1 of the other Eastern Conference semi-final last night, the
Rochester Raging Rhinos beat the Charleston Battery 2-0.

Posted on Sep 16 2000, 3:32 AM
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