October 7, 2005 CPSL Championship Wildcard game North York Astros vs Toronto Croatia (from CPSL website)
OVERTIME STUNNER PUTS CROATIA THROUGH
Friday - October 7, 2005
A free kick from 35 yards by Toronto Croatia player-coach Velemir Crljen stunned a North York Astros defence when it eluded the normally alert goalkeeper Arthur Zaslavski to find the net after 90 minutes then 12 minutes of overtime for a golden goal victory in the wild card game of the Canadian Professional Soccer League playoffs at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York Friday night.
The win was a repeat of Thursday's game at Streetsville Memorial Park when Croatia advanced by a 1-0 result against Laval Dynamites to take a further step in the team's bid for a repeat of last year's championship victory.
Crljen, now 38, has been one of the most respected players in the CPSL with his leadership role in the midfield and taking his team through a series of successes for some time now.
While Toronto Croatia had most of the play in the game, North York Astros never appeared out of the picture after going undefeated for eight games since August 18. They fought off the aggressive Croatia attack for a full 90 minutes and in overtime gave the impression they could be the team to get the unforgiving golden goal.
Toronto Croatia will now meet old rivals Vaughan Shooters in the semi-final Saturday and it will be Shooters looking to make amends for their championship 4-0 loss to Croatia on October 11 last year.
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