Tuesday, August 03, 2004

City enjoys a Super Day

City enjoys a super day for soccerLondon defeated Brampton 2-1 and also was awarded the Canada Cup final.
Free Press staff
2004-08-03 01:48:49

London City completed its holiday Monday with two victories, one on the field and one off, edging the Brampton Hitmen 2-1 last night in Canadian Professional Soccer League action at Cove Road field. City midfielder Eris Tafaj provided the heroics when his rocket off the far post in the 83rd minute gave London its first CPSL win over the Hitmen.
Tafaj took a brilliant feed from forward Kadian Leckey and beat Brampton keeper Roy Blanche with a perfect shot.
The win improves City to 5-3-2 and catapulted them over Brampton into second place in the Western Conference. The Hitmen fell to 4-4-3.
London's first victory came earlier in the day when it learned it won the bid to play host to the Canada Cup championship weekend Sept. 3-6.
London has held the Cup championship tournament ever since its inception in 2001. City coach and general manager Harry Gauss said the organization has worked hard to get it.
"I think it's a great compliment to our support staff," Gauss said. "Our support staff is first-rate."
By hosting the final games, City also earns the wild-card berth for the weekend -- a nice perk after the team was eliminated on Friday night when the Windsor-Detroit Border Stars edged City 5-4.
Gauss said Tafaj's game-winner capped a great day for City soccer.
"And if you're going to score the winner, you may as well make it a beautiful winner," he said.
It had looked as if London's only victory of the day was going to be the Cup bid.
Brampton opened the scoring in the 41st minute when Paul Daccobert ran down a long feed from midfielder Angel Velasquez and chipped his shot over London goalie Haidar Al-Shaibani for the half's only goal.
The teams traded opportunities early in the second half before City's Paul Munster stripped a Brampton defender of the ball in the penalty area and scored to even the game at 1-1.
The goal was Munster's league-leading 11th on the season and set the scene for Tafaj's late winner.
Gauss said it was the team's best win of the season.
"That one was satisfying. We showed a lot of character out there and showed what we can really do."
City is at home against the St. Catharines Roma Wolves Friday at 8:38 p.m.


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