May 17, 2008 CSL First Week Results (from CSL release)

Italia, Serbia tie 2-2, TFC Academy and Windsor register opening season wins

A solid header from a corner kick by Franco Ruschetto of Italia Shooters at the 75th minute mark, gave his side a 2-2 tie against Serbian White Eagles at the newly-resurfaced Joan of Arc ground in Maple, just north of Toronto on Victoria Day Monday.

It was the first game of the new season for both teams in the CSL’s International Division and just the league’s third game of the new season following a 1-0 win by TFC Academy over Toronto Croatia at Lamport Stadium on Friday night and a Windsor Border Stars 2-1 victory over London City at LaSalle, Ontario on Saturday.

Italia Shooters took the lead at 23 minutes of the Maple opener when Luca Forno scored from 22 yards, but Serbia struck back with two goals, the first by Milos Scebanovic at 30 minutes and the second by Dragan Radovic at the 73rd minute mark.

Serbian White Eagles will play their home opener against North York Astros at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke next Friday, May 23, while Italia returns to Maple for their next game against Trois-Rivieres Attak.

A winning goal by Windsor Border Stars defender Tom Stark at 29 minutes of the first half gave his side a narrow 2-1 victory over London City in a traditional season opener for both teams played in the southwestern Ontario community of LaSalle Saturday night.

The border team took the lead on a strike by Tom Eller at the 15th minute mark and London’s Ibrihim Guzelbaba tied the score at 27 minutes.

London City were reduced to 10 men at 32 minutes when referee David Barrie showed Mark Evans a red card for violent conduct. It was a hard-fought second half as London attempted to get on even terms, but Windsor held the 2-1 lead to the final whistle.

The two teams meet again in the return match at Cove Road, London on May 30, an 8.45 kickoff.

On Friday night, TFC Academy surprised the defending CSL champions Toronto Croatia with a 1-0 victory in the CSL season opener at Lamport Stadium in Toronto’s west end.

Playing with good pace and moving the ball like a team that has been together much longer than the actual just two weeks, the senior of two teams in the recently launched academy program of Toronto FC played with good purpose to hold on to an early 1-0 lead, scored after 8 minutes.

TFC Academy’s Domenic Roberts took a 40 yard free kick to set up the goal struck by Adrian Pena who beat Croatia goalkeeper Marko Culjak for what turned out to be the only goal of the game.

The TFC team almost increased the lead 10 minutes later, striking the Croatia woodwork, and this was followed by Toronto Croatia almost tying at 39 minutes when Hugo Herrera found the net only to have the goal ruled offside.

TFC Academy is in their inaugural year in the CSL, whereas Toronto Croatia celebrated 50 years in Canadian soccer in 2006 and won the CSL title in 2007.

TFC Academy head coach Jason Bent appeared satisfied with his young side’s initial showing. “It was a good first game for us, we took a lot of positives out of the game. We have some things we need to work on, but in general a good first time out,” he said.

Tom Granic, coach of Croatia was clearly surprised at the result: “We don’t have our full team yet, a few players missing, but also we were not quite up to it and that’s disappointing,” he conceded.

Referee Isaac Raymond issued six yellow cards in the game, four to Croatia and two to the academy side. The opener was played before 853 fans, the first game played on the newly-resurfaced Toronto stadium.

TFC Academy will be back at the Lamport ground on May 23 for a game against St. Catharines Wolves, while Toronto Croatia will be at home to Portugal FC at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga the same day.

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