October 24, 2010 CSL--Hamilton Croatia vs Toronto Croatia (from CSL website)

IT'S BRANTFORD AND HAMILTON CROATIA IN THE FINAL...........rivalry moves up a notch

A goal in each half for a 2-0 FC Hamilton Croatia victory over Toronto Croatia in the second semifinal of the CSL playoffs at Brian Timmis Stadium in Hamilton Sunday night, will bring together Hamilton and Brantford Galaxy in the CSL Championship Final this coming Sunday afternoon.

Brantford earned a berth in the final with a 5-3 win over Portugal FC on Friday.

The well-attended all-Croatian game was an exciting affair, physical at times with Hamilton Croatia able to hold on to and increase a first half lead to secure a place in the final and this was accomplished due in large part to some outstanding goalkeeping by Melford James, especially in the second half.

Hamilton Croatia's leading scorer Aidan O'Keefe put his side 1-0 up at 27 minutes, a free kick from 45 yards that came off the wall to deflect out of reach of Toronto Croatia goalkeeper Sandi Matika.

The Toronto side pressed for an equalizer in the second half and saves by James kept the score to a 1-0 lead until the home side made it 2-0 at 54 minutes. The goal came from a throw-in to Hamilton forward Preston Corporal who moved the ball to midfielder Adam Leggett and he struck the ball to the lower left corner of the net from 18 yards.

Toronto Croatia applied pressure in attempting to get back into the game, but the 2-0 held to the final whistle.

This is the inaugural season for both sides and the CSL 5-month long campaign will culminate next Sunday in a rivalry that was apparent with the two finalists before a ball was kicked..

Hamilton Croatia and Brantford Galaxy are located in close proximity to each other just west of Toronto and while the Galaxy is a community team in Brantford, both have players from Croatia and neighboring countries in Europe. Brantford added players from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia early this year to achieve a level of play necessary to compete in the CSL.

It all adds up to a final that already brings achievement - the newcomers have eliminated well-drilled, long established teams in the CSL and one will be CSL champion in its inaugural year of competition.

  CSL Championship
Centennial Stadium,   Etobicoke
Sunday, October 31, starting with the annual awards at 2.15 pm to be followed by the kickoff
Adult - Advance Purchase     $20
Adult - At the ground    $25
17 and under    $10
6 and under     Free
Family (2 Adults, 2 Children)   $50,  
VIP Package   $35
Call 905 564-2297 or purchase online www.canadiansoccerleague.com

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