London Free Press: Thunder Snaps City's Unbeaten Streak
July 19, 2002
Thunder snaps City's unbeaten streak
By Kathy Rumleski -- London Free Press
London City's unbeaten streak has ended at six games.
City lost 4-2 to Hamilton Thunder in Canadian Professional Soccer League play before more than 500 fans, the most yet this season, last night at Cove Road Field.
It was a game City should have won, but the team suffered a couple of bad breaks.
City defender Jeff Brown went to clear a high free kick in the 58th minute but it deflected off his foot and went over the head of goalkeeper Anthony Camacho.
Then, with only three minutes left, a ball was first deflected off City defender John Paiva and then off Ian Bennett into the City net.
"We deserved a better fate than this," said City manager Harry Gauss.
Brown's mistake came only a minute after City defender and captain Gerald Gallacher, up for a London free kick, put a ball flicked his way into the far corner to give City a 2-1 lead.
Gentian Dervishi scored City's first goal when a shot blocked by a defender came out to him and he put in on the short side of Thunder goalkeeper Dino Perri.
Dervishi's fourth goal of the season came in the 10th minute.
"It's the second time I got him (on the short side)," said Dervishi, who also scored on Perri, the 2000 goalkeeper of the year, last year. "I saw the space. He gave me the side again. I know he gets mad."
Mark Wagenaar, the older brother of City goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar, scored Hamilton's first goal in the 54th minute with a header that got by a sprawling Camacho.
Miles O'Connor scored Hamilton's final goal in the dying minutes of the game after London sent everyone up to try to tie the game 3-3.
Dervishi said the team's streak was fun while it lasted.
"It feels good compared to last year. But at least three (of the tied games) we should have won, if we had a little luck."
That, the team hasn't had.
City's lineup has taken a beating as several starters were missing last night.
Gentjan Buzali is on a trial in Portugal. Ermal Murataj is in Albania, visiting relatives.
Tyler Hemming and Josh Wagenaar are training with the Ontario under-17 team.
Wallaceburg resident Sandro Costantin was supposed to be back last night after missing about three weeks with a foot injury, but his basement flooded.
Dervishi is leaving in a week for Albania to attend a wedding. He said he'd be gone for three weeks.
City has also lost a key player in Shaun Taggart due to a "falling out between teammates," Gauss said.
Gauss said the dispute could not be resolved and he had to make a decision as to who would stay. "I need everybody pulling the same way."
On a positive note for the team, striker Luan Jonuzi is back after missing seven games with cracked ribs.
London also picked up former Western star Jon Hasson, a defender who also plays for the London Portuguese in the Western Ontario Soccer League. Hasson had an immediate impact, clearing the ball several times when Hamilton was attacking.
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