June 26, 2005 USL Toronto Lynx vs Charleston Battery (from Toronto Star)

Life's looking up for Lynx
Matondo scores in injury time for tie against Charleston
Basement dwellers pick up four points in last two matches


It's been a dismal year for the Toronto Lynx, the city's lone professional soccer team.

Even the program for yesterday's United Soccer League First Division game against the Charleston Battery, which was printed before the Lynx played on Friday, stated that they were still "searching for their first win of 2005.''

But the Lynx turned matters around by beating the Minnesota Thunder 2-1 on the road Friday for their first win and followed that up with a 2-2 tie against Charleston before a crowd of 3,392 at Etobicoke's Centennial Park Stadium.

The tie upped the record of the basement dwellers, who don't play again until July 16, to 1-8-5.

Trailing 2-1, the Lynx fought back to get the equalizer in this exciting game from forward and man-of-the-match Sita-Taty Matondo late in injury time.

More important than the single point they earned for the tie, it appears that the Lynx are on the verge of salvaging their season with four points from their last two matches.

And that has made head coach Hubert Busby Jr. a little happier.

"As far as we're concerned, it's a 16-game season,'' Busby said in reference to the remaining games.

"Until someone says we're mathematically eliminated, we keep pushing forward.''

Until that win on Friday, things had been pretty bleak embarrassing, quite frankly for the Lynx, who went into the season with an inexperienced squad and a shaky defence. Many of the players have been in the league for less than three years.

But Toronto made a few roster changes recently, including bringing in Wyn Belotte, a fleet-footed striker who had a goal and an assist in Friday's game and was quite active again yesterday.

Charleston midfielder Chris Goos opened the scoring after only two minutes when he tapped in a cross from Kevin Johnson.

Jamie Dodds put the Lynx on level terms in the 20th minute. He picked the ball up in midfield and ran in before unleashing a low, hard shot.

The visitors went up again on a goal from Alon Lubezky, who cashed in a cross from Jesus Martinez.

But with time running out and Charleston scrambling to clear the ball, Matondo rifled a right-footed shot past Battery goalkeeper Mike Behonick.

The Battery were reduced to 10 men in the 49th minute when Drew Kop was shown a red card after he brought down Sean Fraser just outside the penalty area.

Busby was pleased with the way his team battled back and the fact that Toronto also outshot Charleston 18-6.

Matondo was satisfied because the tie and Friday's win gave the Lynx added points in the standings.

"It feels good to get (the final) goal. Friday's win and today's tie, it feels good to have four points,'' said Matondo.

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