May 31, 2004 CPSL Toronto Supra vs Boavista FC (Portugal) (from Toronto Sun)

Mon, May 31, 2004

Boavista puts on show


IN TWO WEEKS, all soccer eyes will be on Portugal for Euro 2004. Some of the guys who will have front-row seats for the action gave 1,624 Toronto fans a sample of the country's love for the game -- and possibly a look at some future Portuguese national team members -- last night at Etobicoke Centennial Stadium.

Using seven players from its youth team, Boavista of the Portuguese Super League wrapped up its three-game North American tour with a 6-2 win over the Canadian Professional Soccer League's Toronto Supra.

"It (Euro 2004) is a great moment for our country," Boavista executive director Dr. Joao Freitas said of Portugal playing host to the European championship for the first time. "We've made a long effort to get ready for this and we have a good team. People hope they can do something good."

Portugal was third in the previous European final in 2000. Players from the Portuguese under-21 World Cup winners from 1989 and 1991 -- dubbed the golden generation -- make up most of the national team and many consider this tournament their swan song.

"Playing for your country is what every professional thinks of," said Boavista captain Jorge Silva, a former national team member.

Boavista plays second fiddle to Champions League winner Porto in the city of Porto and often sells players to bigger-name Portuguese teams. Porto is coming to the SkyDome for a much-anticipated friendly against Liverpool on July 30.

But Boavista develops players well and was a semi-finalist in the UEFA Cup last season and won the league title in 2001. Boavista finished eighth in the 20-team league this season, but still received more than $60,000 from the Supra to play two games in Ontario, including a 3-0 win over a CPSL select team Friday in London.

Jose Pedro, with two, Ricardo Sousa, Hugo Monteiro, Diogo Valente and Paulo Gomes scored for Boavista, while Michael Diluca and Jose Moreira replied for the Supra.

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