May 30, 2004 CPSL Toronto Supra vs Boavista FC (Portugal) (from Toronto Star)

Boavista turns it on against Supra
Portuguese end tour with 6-2 victory

Crowd cheers heartily for both teams


No matter who won on the soccer field last night, Gabriel Goncalves was one happy man. When the Portuguese team scored, he stood up and cheered. When the Toronto team scored, he was smiling again.

And on the pitch, Boavista FC of the Portuguese Premier League soundly thumped the Canadian Professional Soccer League's Toronto Supra 6-2.

Both sides drew hearty cheers from the crowd of about 1,600 at Etobicoke's Centennial Stadium. A few were wrapped in or holding Portuguese flags.

Goncalves, who moved to Canada about 30 years ago from Portugal, had friends on the Supra, so "I want my friends to win, but I cheer for both.

"Any time there's a chance for a Portuguese team to be here, we come and support them," said the 46-year-old.

Boavista finished eighth in the league standing behind champion Porto this year after losing in the UEFA Cup semifinals last season. The team was wrapping up a three-game swing through North America. Boavista lost to Major League Soccer's MetroStars before defeating a CPSL select team 3-0 on Friday.

Joao Freitas, the team's executive director, said the experience helped to build bridges with Portuguese ex-pats, while giving local players the experience of a different soccer environment.

"In Europe, soccer is a very serious business. For us, the most important thing here is to talk with the community, and show something different for the Americans and Canadians," he said, as autograph seekers surrounded the team after the game.

Although the Supra had their chances to score last night and was able to score first Boavista applied much of the pressure and remained in control for most of the game.

Supra forward Michael Diluca opened scoring in the fifth minute, but his team lost the lead for good in the 13th minute on a penalty kick by Ricardo Sousa, Boavista's leading scorer during the past season. Hugo Monteiro added the second in the 39th minute with the others coming from Jose Pedro (two), Diogo Valente and Paulo Gomes. Supra's other goal came from Jose Moreira. For Supra midfielder Pedro Dias, who moved to Canada from Portugal about 10 years ago, it was good to play against a quicker-thinking, tactical team.

"I see these guys week in, week out on TV, and some of them you really look up to. They're very good players. It's not like watching them on TV when you get a chance to play them on the field," he said.

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