September 1, 2006 CSL Open Canada Cup Semi-Final (from CSL website)
WELL-ATTENDED, ENTERTAINING SEMI-FINAL
Saturday - September 2, 2006
Toronto Lynx of the USL First Division overcame a gritty AEK London of the Western Ontario Soccer League by a 1-0 margin in an entertaining, well-attended Open Canada Cup semi-final encounter at The Cove in London Friday night, and in one regular season match, National Division leaders Oakville Blue Devils were held to a 1-1 tie at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York.
The Lynx, playing in the increasingly popular competition for the first time this season, continued from earlier successes against Serbian White Eagles (a win on penalty kicks in the second round) and a defeat of amateur team Hamilton Serbians (1-0 in the third round), to now advance to the Open Canada Cup Final on Monday in their bid for the Canada trophy and a $10,000 winner-take-all cash prize.
AEK made a promising start to press the Toronto Lynx, but it was the Division One team that took the lead on a well taken goal by forward Osni Neto at 17 minutes. Neto collected the ball outside of the penalty box and with a lot of confidence chipped the ball high into the net.
While Neto and Gordon Chin always looked dangerous and threatening to repeat the opening goal, the London team fought well to create several excellent chances to tie the game and Todd Rutledge and Martin Painter came very close on more than one occasion.
In the only league game played Friday night, Brazilian striker Francisco Dos Santos struck the opening goal just on half time for North York Astros, but immediately following the interval Oakville came back with an equalizer by forward Petro Czoli for a 1-1 tie that held up to the final whistle.
Oakville stretch their lead at the top of the National Division to two points with a 7-5-5 WLT record for 26 points, while the Astros make little headway in their bid for a playoff berth and stand at 3-7-7 for 16 points in sixth position.
The following games remain in the Open Canada Cup: Wild Card Game: Saturday, Sept. 2, 7:38pm London City vs Ottawa St. Anthony Italia Second semi-final: Sunday, Sept. 3, 7:38pm Brampton Stallions vs Winner of Wild Card Game Open Canada Cup Final Monday, Sept. 4, 4:08pm
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