Friday, June 20, 2003

The Second Half

Kathy Rumleski, Free Press Sports Reporter
2003-06-20 05:13:18

BENFICA TAKES ON CROATIA AT HOME London Benfica is the only local men's soccer team playing at home this weekend in Ontario Cup action.
Benfica is the host of a game against Windsor Croatia, which will take place Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Cove Road field.
Benfica, which plays in the Western Ontario Soccer League, and Croatia meet for the fourth time in four years.
Benfica won last year's match 2-1 and lost the year before on penalty kicks. It defeated the Windsor squad three years ago.
"We're pretty well in good shape," says Benfica manager Joe Santos, who believes his team can advance to Round 3.
Two other WOSL teams play in Ontario Cup games Sunday.
Last year's Cup champions, London Portuguese, play against the North York Hearts at Esther Shiner stadium.
London AEK Olympic will play Windsor Rose City at Windsor Stadium.
WOSL president Adam Saska says the success of London Portuguese has brought recognition to local soccer.
"(It's) been a tremendous boost, not only for our league but for soccer in the London area in general."
There also is a women's Ontario Cup game being played in London on Sunday.
London Marconi Westman will take on the Windsor Cabota Strikers at Marconi field at 1 p.m.
The North London Dynamite under-14 boys continue to shut out the competition in the Ontario Cup. In the preliminary round, they outscored their opponents Their scores from last weekend's Cup round included 7-0 over CS Azzurri, 5-0 over the Ottawa Internationals, an 8-0 defeat of Oakville and 10-0 over Prescott.
The Dynamite will play in the quarter-finals Aug. 9.
Soccer enthusiasts can watch Londoner Semir Mesanovic and his Indiana Blast take on the Cincinnati Riverhawks tonight on FOX Sports World Canada.
Mesanovic, who played for London City and Toronto Croatia of the CPSL and London Bosnia of the Western Ontario Soccer League, has three goals and an assist for the Blast of the A-League.
Game time is 8 p.m.
The London Soccer Academy will begin elite training sessions with instructors Ian Knight and Jurek Gebczynski on Sunday.
Those interested should arrive at the Greek Canadian Community Centre on Sarnia Road at the following times -- goalkeepers, 3-4 p.m., u-11 to u-13, 4-5:30 p.m. and u-14 to u-18, 5:30-7 p.m.
Call 474-9147 for more information.


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