Saturday - September 2, 2006

Eagles fly at Birchmount

Three of the most prolific scorers in the Canadian Soccer League each struck two goals for Serbian White Eagles when the International Division leaders defeated Caribbean Selects 6-1 in regular season play at Birchmount Stadium Saturday night.

Gabriel Pop scored at 7 and 47 minutes to increase his season tally to 18 goals and he's followed closely by forward Sasa Viciknez who scored his 16th and 17 of the season at 58 and 85 minutes. Former North York Astros striker Alex Braletic also scored twice, at 69 and 72 minutes.

The lone Caribbean goal was scored by Jason Garcia at the 30 minute mark.

"We won, but the weather was terrible, " said Serbian general manager Ken Stanojevich in describing the lashing wind and rains that engulfed southern Ontario while the game was being played. "But the ground was excellent and the players appreciated that," he said. His counterpart, Neil Palmer of Caribbean Selects agreed that the playing surface appeared to have little water despite the downpour. "We appreciated the ground and the players enjoyed the new surface, despite the weather," he said. The stadium has undergone extensive changes, including a new FieldTurf and Saturday's game was the first to be played on the artificial grass.

The win was the 13th of the season for the Eagles, who increased their lead at the top of the International Division for a 13-0-1 WLT record for 40 points, that's six ahead of nearest rivals Toronto Croatia. Caribbean continue to struggle at the foot of the same conference with a 1-13-3 record for six points.

Tne other game scheduled in the CSL, an Open Canada Cup wild card game between London City and Ottawa St. Anthony Italia was called off at London with a promise by local officials that every effort will be made to play the game Sunday to produce a winner to meet Brampton Stallions in the second semi-final game now set for Monday. The winner of that game will meet the Toronto Lynx in the Open Canada Cup final at a date to be arranged.

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