ITALIA SHOOTERS SCORE 2-1 VICTORY OVER LONDON CITY SUNDAY - TFC Academy and Croatia tie 1-1 Saturday following a 2-2 deadlock between Portugal FC and Serbian Eagles on Friday


Italia Shooters had two players ejected but still came through with a 2-1 victory over London City Sunday night, while TFC Academy and Toronto Croatia fought to a 1-1 draw on Saturday and on Friday night Portugal FC and Serbian Eagles also tied, 2-2.

London City went ahead 1-0 in the Rogers TV televised game at Maple on Sunday, a goal by Brian Abidakun at 23 minutes. It was just two minutes later when a foul by Italia defender Nick Cisternino brought out a second yellow card then a red to eject Cisternino, reducing the Shooters to 10 men.

Despite the setback, Italia midfielder Johan Carrera equalized for the home side, a drive that caught the top right corner to beat London City ‘keeper Anthony Santilli at the 31st minute mark.

Italia had their share of the play despite being a man down and at 56 minutes a breakaway by Aundrae Rollins produced a go-ahead goal which turned out to be the winner, a 2-1 result for Italia Shooters.

The York Region team had a second player ejected when defender Samuel Hazan following an incident with a London City player near the corner flag.

Croatia forward Tommy Ples opened the scoring at 59 minutes following a scoreless first half in the Saturday night encounter, he caught the top corner of the net with a drive from 35 yards that left TFC Academy ‘keeper Soitiri Varlokostas with no chance of making a save.

It took just four minutes for the TFC team to draw level when defender Feras Samain found the net from close in after Croatia goalkeeper Sandi Matiku saved Samain’s first shot from 6 yards. TFC Academy came close to winning the game when a well-struck volley from 20 yards at 76 minutes by midfielder Amadou Sanyang caught the top right angle of the goalpost, but the game ended with the 1-1 deadlock which was a fair reflection of the game throughout.

.On Friday night, Serbian Eagles, now coached by Rafael Carbajal, pressed early and were rewarded with the opening goal at 24 minutes when striker Sasa Viciknez picked up the through ball on the right wing to beat Portugal FC goalkeeper Mike Silva with a low shot.

Serbia went ahead 2-0 four minutes later when Uros Stamatovic scored a picture goal from 16 yards, just inside the left post, and the score held up to the half-time whistle.

There were signs Portugal were fighting to get back on even terms as the second half progressed and the break came at 76 minutes when Ramon Bailey was fouled in the penalty box and referee Justin Tasev had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot.

It was Bailey who took the penalty kick to drive the ball past Serbian goalkeeper Dan Pelc.

The game was always in doubt in the last 15 minutes and Portugal’s Ahmed Hersi struck the tying goal right on 90 minutes for a 2-2 draw at the end.

Serbian White Eagles won the CSL Championship last year, defeating Trois-Rivieres Attak on penalty kicks in a thriller on October 26. It was first CSL championship win after finishing in the runner-up position to Italia Shooters in the 2008 International Division title race.

Portugal FC, which ended the 2008 season in fourth position in the International Division and which this season is coached by previously oustanding forward Danny Amaral, will be back at Lamport Stadium on Saturday, May 30, for a clash with St. Catharines Wolves – a 4 p.m. start. Serbian White Eagles will return to action at their home opener against Italia Shooters at Centennial Stadium on Friday night, June 5, an 8 p.m. kickoff.

TFC Academy visit Brampton on Sunday, May 31, a game with the Lions at Victoria Park at 3 p.m., while Toronto Croatia travel to Maple for a game with Italia Shooters the same afternoon, that's a 5 o'clock kickoff.

Italia Shooters are back at Maple for that game on May 31 and London City are at The Cove in London for their home opener on Friday, May 29, that's at 8.30 p.m.

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