OLYMPIANS GO DOWN TO LOWLY AEK LONDON IN OPEN CANADA CUP SHOCKER
Theory has it that at some point in history kings in Greece reigned for one year before they were killed. There must have been some truth to that because Greek myths came later and were followed by the Greek tragedies.
Soccer teams have been known to last longer.
But in the case of Mississauga Olympians, founded as Toronto Olympians by Coffee Time president Tom Michalopoulos, a Greek-Canadian and lover of the world’s game who set Olympians on a winning journey in 1998 to capture six out of the nine titles the CPSL had to offer in the first three years, it all seems so long ago.
His team, ably propelled by general manager sometimes coach David Gee, was once considered one of the top pro teams in the country.
But suddenly that all changed at Cove Road in London on Canada Day when Mississauga Olympians were eliminated from the Open Canada Cup by AEK London, a lowly amateur team operating quietly and without any special distinction in the Western Ontario Soccer League.
The 2-1 AEK London win was no myth. It was a shocker. Perhaps even a Greek tragedy.The AEK amateurs were determined--and gritty in their win.
In the opening game of a Cove Road double header, Durham Flames advanced with a 2-0 shutout win over North York Astros.
London City, Toronto Supra, Kanata, Metro Lions, Vaughan Sun Devils, St. Catharines Roma Wolves, Durham Flames and AEK London have all earned a berth in Round Three following games played during the Canada Day holiday weekend. Ottawa Wizards and Laval Dynamites gained byes to the third round.
London City earned a 2-1 golden goal win in overtime over Toronto team Peniche in an exciting game at The Cove in London on Monday.
Toronto Supra defeated Toronto Croatia, 4-2, at The Cove in London on Sunday afternoon and at the OZ Stadium in Ottawa at about the same time, Kanata from Eastern Ontario were defeating FC Levski Montreal, 3-2.
Lions blanked Brampton Hitmen, 3-0, at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough, while Vaughan Sun Devils outlasted Hamilton Thunder, 4-3, in a see-saw struggle at The Cove in London.
Woodbridge Azzurri, one of the most highly regarded amateur teams in Ontario, saw its Open Canada Cup aspirations crash when the local AEK London dominated in a 6-0 win in a Preliminary Round rescheduled game at The Cove in London Friday night and St. Catharines Roma Wolves also took the opportunity to advance in Open Canada Cup play on Friday with a narrow 1-0 win over Benfica of Toronto at Club Roma in St. Catharines.
There were nine games played over the Canada Day long weekend in a one-game knockout competition that involves all 13 CPSL teams and nine of the strongest amateur teams in Ontario and the Province of Quebec. There is a winner-take-all prize of $10,000 for the team that is victorious in the final game set for Labour Day, Monday September 1.
Survivors of this second round will now advance to Round Three to be played during the Civic Holiday, August 1 – 4, leaving a wild card game, two semi-finals and the final game over the Labour Day weekend.
Even if Olympians are just a shadow of the squad that dominated the CPSL in those early years, and even if AEK put some writing on the wall with an impressive 6-0 win over highly regarded Woodbridge Azzurri in the Preliminary Round of the Open Canada Cup on June 27, the defeat has CPSL heads scratching.
It was real, with AEK goals by Ryan Leigh at the 37th minute mark and Matt Gallo after 78 minutes, the 2-0 lead proved insurmountable even when some fans considered it just a matter of time before Olympians would retaliate. They did retaliate on a goal at the 86th minute mark by former Hamilton Thunder player Geoff Attard—but it was too little, too late.
Earlier, Durham Flames were hot in defeating North York Astros on goals by Jamal Jupiter after 38 minutes and a second half marker by David Mills at the 58th minute mark.
London City fought back from a 1-0 deficit for almost the entire second half in a thriller at The Cove in London. Bruno Real scored for Peniche right on half time following a tough 45 minutes for both teams and the score held up until City's Andrew Loague tied the game at the 90th minute mark.
Erik Elmauer was the hero for London with a strike just three minutes into overtime for a 2-1 golden goal result and Round Three for the team from Southwestern Ontario.
It was very much end-to-end soccer when Toronto Supra maintained its unbeaten record in league and cup competition, with a 4-2 Open Canada Cup win over struggling Toronto Croatia, which has yet to win a game.
Edin Kallic opened the scoring after 14 minutes for Toronto Croatia and Danny Amaral tied the score for Supra at the 38th minute mark.It was 1-1 at half-time. Josip Bucic put Croatia 2-1 up just two minutes after the interval before Supra struck for three unanswered goals by Avio Silva at 51 minutes, Jarek Radzinski at 62 minutes and Michal Di Luca late in the second half for a 4-2 final score.
Darryl Gomes was the hero of the Metro Lions win, scoring a goal in each half to lead his team to Round Three.
Gomes struck first after 39 minutes for a 1-0 lead at half-time, then scored one of two penalty kicks awarded to Metro Lions. He scored from the spot at the 58th minute and this was followed by the second penalty kick and the third goal for Lions by Kareen Reynolds at the 70th minute mark.
Aundrea Rollins sparked his Vaughan Sun Devils with a goal after just two minutes in London, but it took just one minute for Hamilton Thunder to tie the game on a goal by Kevin De Serpa, his second goal of the season.
Bayete Smith put the Sun Devils 2-1 in front with a goal right on half-time and 15 minutes into the second half Vaughan jumped 3-1 up on a strike by Cameron Medwin.
Stalin Cardenas struck for Hamilton to make it 3-2 at 63 minutes and Jason Crnic tied the game for Thunder four minutes later. Matthew Pallechi scored the winner for Vaughan Sun Devils 10 minutes from time. AEK London took the lead after just four minutes in the Friday night 6-0 romp--a strike by Jim Tsaprailis, one of two scored by the AEK London forward. The London team never looked back with goals also by Jim Balatsoukas, Matt Gallo, Xavier Patural and Gistard De Gourville. It was 2-0 at half-time.
St. Catharines Roma Wolves made hard work of their 1-0 win over amateur team Benfica on the same night, but the CPSL squad did prevail to advance on a goal at the 32nd minute by Tony Carbonara.
FOR ALL OPEN CANADA CUP RESULTS TO DATE PLEASE SEE CANADA CUP PAGE
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