Sunday July 22nd, 2001.
Sports: Maritimo Pound Toronto Supra
by Winnipeg Fury
Portugal's Maritimo pound Toronto Supra
By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Sports
TORONTO -- The Toronto Supra may be heavyweights in the Canadian Pro Soccer League (CPSL) but they found out the hard way that love of country far out weighs love of city when it comes to the affection of Toronto soccer fans.
Portugal's Maritimo played what essentially amounted to a home game as they beat the Supra 5-0 before a predominantly Portuguese crowd on a hot and sticky afternoon in Toronto.
In their colourful red, green and white strip, Maritimo dominated the pace of the game and produced more quality scoring chances, running Toronto into the ground on the hard, unforgiving astro turf of Lamport Stadium. At times the Portuguese club looked bored on the pitch, playing with the hapless Supra like a fiery feline plays with a scurrying mouse.
Midfielder Paolo Waldez was the lone bright spot for the Supra, providing Toronto with some quick, dangerous runs up the middle and displaying some deft ball control in midfield.
Maritimo striker Andre nearly opened the scoring in the first minute when he blazed by two Supra defenders down the left side of the 18-yard box and fired a dangerous shot on net that was stopped by Supra goalkeeper Garrett Caldwell.
Supra forward Samuel Afriyie nearly made it 1-0 for Toronto and stunned the Portuguese-partisan crowd in the tenth minute when he stole the ball from a Maritimo defender in midfield and carried the ball deep into the 18-yard box, only to fire wide of the goal post.
From there, the floodgates opened.
Maritimo opened the scoring in the 24th minute when midfielder Richardson made a quick pass to striker Alan who slipped a shot into the back of the net from 8 yards out.
Richardson almost turned goal scorer six minutes later when he sent a free kick from 25 yards out just over the crossbar.
The Portuguese side made it 2-0 in the 40th minute when a Toronto giveaway in the middle of the field led to a brilliant counterattack as Alan fed a short pass to Andre who scored on a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that Toronto goalie Caldwell mishandled.
Hungry for another goal, Alan outfought a Supra defender a minute later just inside the 18-yard box and chipped the ball a hair over the crossbar.
The second half opened with Maritimo pressuring Toronto's beleaguered defense as defender Briguel clanked a blistering shot off the crossbar from 22 yards out in the 46th minute.
Maritimo sealed the game in the 57th minute when a lovely three-touch, give and go passing play inside Toronto's 18-yard box resulted in midfielder Dinga placing an expertly-taken quick shot past a diving Supra goalkeeper Caldwell and into the back of the net.
Maritimo nearly made it 4-0 in the 68th minute when striker Quim found himself all alone on the right side of Toronto's 18-yard box poised to score but Supra goalkeeper Caldwell came out of his net to block the shot and make a brilliant save.
Maritimo kept the pressure on in the 74th minute when midfielder Olim crossed a beautiful ball from the right touchline into the middle of the box where forward Gaucho tried to head the ball into the net but was robbed by Caldwell who made another outstanding, sprawling save.
The Supra went down 4-0 when Maritimo forward Quim slotted a shot from 10 yards out into the back of the net.
Defender Briguel sent a blistering shot from just outside of the box in the 85th minute that whispered over the crossbar.
Maritimo put a resounding exclamation point at the end of the game when they made it 5-0 in the closing minutes.
Forward Gaucho was taken down in the six-yard box by Supra goalkeeper Caldwell while fighting for a lose ball, resulting in a penalty shot for Maritimo in the 43rd minute. Gaucho confidently stepped up and fired the ball up the middle and into the net as Caldwell dove to his left in a feeble attempt to try and guess which way the striker was going.
NOTES: Maritimo finished in tenth place in the Portuguese First Division this past season. They also made it to the Portuguese Cup Final in June, losing 2-0 to powerhouse FC Porto... Maritimo is known to many Canadian soccer fans as the club that signed former Canadian National team striker Alex Bunbury for several seasons... Maritimo will play against the CPSL All Stars on Wednesday, July 25th at Cove Road in London... CFMT TV commentator Alex Franco served as master of ceremonies.
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