October 23, 2007 CSL Announcement--Two Game Final--Serbian White Eagles vs Toronto Croatia (from CSL media release)
CROATIA'S GAME ON SATURDAY, SERBIA ON SUNDAY
Tuesday - October 23, 2007
It will take two games to win this year’s CSL Championship.
The previous one game affair has become a 2-leg total goals aggregate championship with both games at Esther Shiner Stadium this coming Saturday and Sunday.
The first game will be for Toronto Croatia fans only, no Serbians allowed.
And it’s restricted entry on Sunday. That’s Serbia day with no Toronto Croatia fans allowed in the stadium.
The change in format is seen as the answer to the CSL’s attempt to accommodate with safety the unusually high number of fans interested in seeing Serbian White Eagles and Toronto Croatia clash for the title.
The two teams met last year and there were problems, twice. The first time at Lamport Stadium in Toronto’s west end and at the return match played at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton.
But that was largely overcome this year when the two regular season league games were used to separate the fans – Serbia’s home game restricted to Serbian fans on September 14 and it was Croatia’s turn on October 2. The experiment was successful with both games well attended and well played.
The smaller community stadiums are just not big enough, so the league attempted to put this year’s one-game championship in the BMO Field where all fans could witness the same game yet be separated using the two main stands. But Toronto FC’s home ground is closed for a bubble installation for the upcoming indoor soccer season.
Toronto Croatia will take the first leg on Saturday, a 5 p.m. kickoff at Esther Shiner and Serbian White Eagles have been handed Sunday’s game, which starts at 3 p.m.
Security will be the order of the day, on both days. All fans will be checked at the entrance for flares, fireworks and anything else that might spell trouble. Any fan support showing signs of hostility will be ejected from the ground. There will be a strong security and police presence.
“It’s our hope that next season we can return to having all fans join together to see what are great games on the field, but we’re just not there yet,” explained league commissioner Cary Kaplan when the decision came down Tuesday.
In semifinal games played last weekend, Serbian White Eagles defeated Trois-Rivieres Attak 2-1 and Toronto Croatia edged St. Catharines Wolves, 3-2.
Current CSL champions Italia Shooters were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
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