October 26, 2008 CSL Final Trois-Rivieres Attak vs Serbian White Eagles (from CSL media release)

Serbian White Eagles outlast Trois-Rivieres Attak in championship thriller

A jubilant Serbian White Eagles receive the championship trophy from CSL commissioner Cary Kaplan

Serbian White Eagles outlasted Trois Rivieres Attak over a rain-drenched 120 minutes and penalty kicks to win the Canadian Soccer League championship at Esther Shiner Stadium at Toronto Sunday night. It was a fast-paced, thrilling encounter that was well-attended despite the heavy rains with lightning that knocked out a few floodlights.

Midfielder Alex Braletic opened the scoring for Serbian Eagles at 61 minutes, but Trois-Rivieres’ forward Nicolas Lesage struck an equalizer five minutes later. With the game tied 1-1 at the regulation 90 minutes, the teams went into overtime and Sasa Viciknez put Serbian Eagles ahead at 96 minutes with a thundering free kick that caught the underside of the crossbar before crossing the line. The Quebec side tied the score at 2-2 on a goal at 104 minutes by midfielder Jean-Phillipe Etienne who caught the lower corner just inside the post.

Serbian White Eagles outscored the Attak 3-2 on penalty kicks to win their first CSL championship.

Trois-Rivieres Attak lost Ibrahim Baldeh near the end of the first overtime period when ordered off by referee Isaac Raymond who showed a second yellow card following an untidy challenge.

There were two earlier successive losses for Serbian White Eagles in the CSL final, to Italia Shooters in the 2006 final and to Toronto Croatia in 2007.

This year, the CSL International Division team finished second in their division, then beat North York Astros and Italia Shooters in the playoffs to reach the final, while the Attak won the National Division title then defeated St. Catharines Wolves and Portugal FC.

The CSL is Canada’s only professional soccer league with teams in Ontario and Quebec and plans for expansion on a regional bases in western Canada for kickoff in 2010.

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