Monday September 10th, 2001

Wizards Cast Spell
Ottawa continues march to top.
by Bill Ault, Editor

OTTAWA---The Ottawa Wizards continued their march towards the top of the CPSL standings with a convincing 4-0 win over visiting Toronto Croatia on a perfect night for soccer in more ways than one.

Kevin Nelson led the way for the Wizards scoring twice while Abraham Osman and Robin Hart each added single goals for the league's highest scoring team.

While the final score was decidedly one sided it took until the 73rd minute for the Wizards to open the scoring through Nelson as he pushed the ball past the Croatia keeper after a goal mouth scramble.  Until then the Wizards had squandered numerous chances and looked especially ineffective on set plays of which they had at least a dozen leading up to the late break through. 

After the breakthrough the goals came quickly as Nelson and Osman work a nifty combination through the middle of the field to set up Osman's goal just minutes later and Nelson added his second with a header off an inch perfect cross.

Not quite finished though the Wizards added a strike of beauty in injury time.   Robin Hart subbed in with a minute left in time worked himself deep into the left corner cut past his marker and across the top of the penalty area past another defender before ripping a right footed blast past the keeper.  The shot threatened to tear the mesh from the posts but instead settled to the ground as Hart started a celebration run of pure, exalted joy. 

The Wizards maintained their second place standing behind the Toronto Olympians who beat the Toronto Supra 3-1.  The Wizards have three games in hand on the Olympians.  Next up for the Wizards is a trip to Oshawa to play the Durham Flames on September 22nd.

The magic is working off the field as well for the team as close to 500 fans were in attendance at what has to be considered one of the premier soccer facilities in the country.  A major highlight of the evening -- a pitch invasion at half time as dozen of kids, parents and spectators took to the field to have a look and feel of the lush surface.  An impromptu penalty shoot-out involving about 20 youngsters broke out.   Nelson has scored five goals in the last two games and leads the league with 20.  Osman is second in the goal scoring race with sixteen.

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