Saturday, 30-Sep-00 08:46:42

City succumbs to Sun Devils

By KATHY RUMLESKI -- London Free Press

They weren't even supposed to be in the playoffs.

After finishing in the basement of the eight-team Canadian Professional League, London City's season should have been over.

But City took the Glen Shields Sun Devils through two overtime halves last night and into a shootout before succumbing 2-1.

As the host team of the playoff championship tournament, the Primus Cup, City got the chance to join the top four teams in the league in the playoffs.

"They left it all on the field," said City manager Harry Gauss. "When you watch them limp, they gave it their all. I'm proud of them."

Last night's game before about 400 fans at Cove Road field was a wild-card game between the fourth-place Sun Devils and City.

Courtney Dennis, Craig Williams, Pat Sullivan and Chris Steffanazzi scored in the shootout for Glen Shields, while London's scorers were Chris Picanco, Luan Jonuzi and Michael Kubicki.

"It was an excellent start. It was exactly what we hoped for -- very entertaining," said CPSL chair Vince Ursini.

City's first regulation goal came after several good scoring chances. It was the 58th minute before the ball got by Sun Devils goalkeeper Adam Morandi.

Morandi came out of the box and was called on a hand ball. On the free kick, London midfielder-coach Jurek Gebczynski sent the ball perfectly to the net and after a scramble, Kubicki tapped it in.

The Sun Devils goal came at the 15-minute mark. Glen Shields sent the ball toward the London net and goalkeeper Scott Mueller struggled to get to it but couldn't. Striker Mike Glasgow was at the left side of the net and easily tapped the ball in.

The match was evenly played with both teams getting several chances during regulation and overtime. Allen Fogetti had London's best chance of regu-lation time.

Gebczynski set up Fogetti perfectly in the box in front of the Glen Shields net. Fogetti was clear but booted the ball over the net.

The playoff semifinals begin today with Toronto Croatia playing the St. Catharines Roma Wolves at 5 p.m. and the Sun Devils versus the Toronto Olympians at 7 p.m.

The Olympians, the tournament favourites, won their second league championship last Wednesday when they defeated City 8-0.

Although they tied St. Catharines with 37 points, goal differential gave Toronto the edge.

The Olympians also won their third consecutive League Cup title last Sunday by defeating the Wolves 1-0 in the Cup final.

Toronto Croatia will be in tough to make it to tomorrow's championship game, which is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.

Several of their starters will be out of the lineup to attend the wedding of teammate Paul Moore today.

Following the championship game, the league banquet and awards ceremony will take place.

London has one award nominee. City's top goal scorer Kubicki, who had six goals during regular-season play, is up for the rookie-of-the-year honour.

If Kubicki wins, it will be the fifth year in the row a City player has won the freshman award.

An exhibition game featuring local female talent was held prior to last night's wild-card game.

The under-15 London Shooting Stars, who will represent Ontario at the national soccer championships next week in Toronto, battled the under-16 North London team to a 0-0 tie.

Posted on Sep 30 2000, 5:50 AM
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