Result of the Sunday October 11, 2009 CSL game between Toronto Croatia and Serbian White Eagles played at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke at 4:00pm. This was the first leg of the two-game Semi-Final.

Toronto Croatia (blue socks, white shorts and numbers, red shirts)

.........................12 Sandi Matika
............21 Sven Arapovic...4 Antonio Zupan...3 Ante Brkic
14 Braeden Krampert...23 Tonci Pirlaja...20 Ainsley Deer...24 Marko Bedenkovic...16 Halberto Harris
....................10 Tihomir Maletic...8 Hayden Fitzwilliams (cpt)

Subs:...89 Marko Culjak (gk)...15 Niko Pesa (??)...30 Tom Granic (fwd)...17 Nicholas Goddard (def)...18 Mario Beljo (mid)
team officials:...head coach Velimir Crljen...assistant coach Alen Vukobrad...manager Ivan Kulis...trainer/physio Kruno Culjak...official Pino Jazbec

Serbian White Eagles (white socks and shirts, blue shorts and names)

..........................27 Dan Pelc
14 Uros Stamatovic...6 Mirko Medic...5 Marc Jankovic...3 Dragomir Milicevic
8 Jonathan Hurtis...22 Adrian Tismenar...17 Nick Budalic...10 Alex Braletic
.................99 Sasa Viciknez (cpt)...19 Kiril Dimitrov

Subs:...1 Marko Petrovic (gk)...20 Milan Janosevic (mid)...15 Mahailo Bacanin (fwd)...28 Goran Vlaski (def)...11 Nikola Sisovic (fwd)...18 Veljko Lukovic (mid)...29 Daniel Bastien (?? not on game roster)
head coach Dubko Prijic...assistant coach Igor Ciric...manager Kosta Stanojevic...trainer/physio Jovan Kalinic

Game officials:...referee Yusri Rudolf...referee's assistants Rick Oliveira and Hussein Rifar...fourth official Michael Izzo...(all black, yellow and white trim)

1st Half:...game starts 4:26pm...TC defend south end. The weather is cold with a strong wind from the north.
50 sec...TC Harris sends 25 yard lobbed shot down middle that's caught by goalie.
2 min...TC Harris cross from 20 yards on left end line is caught by goalie.
5 min...SWE Viciknez freekick from near right corner flag has TC Deer clear ball behind end line near right post for cornerkick.
6 min…White Eagles Jonathan Hurtis GOAL…SWE Sasa Viciknez cornerkick from right has ball drop in box on TC defender's clearance on right post. Hurtis flicks up ball with foot and chips in 5 yarder to left side of goal behind Croatia defender Ainsley Deer who tries to hook ball away while guarding left post with goalie still on right side of net.
7 min...SWE goalie catches popped up shot off defender from 20 yards on left.
13 min...TC Fitzwilliams 15 yard shot on right is wide right on deflection.
13 min...TC Maletic cornerkick from right over players in box on popped up header and TC Harris can't get away shot.
15 min...SWE YELLOW card...Dimitrov earns this for not giving TC Maletic 10 yards on a 45 yard freekick while being a one man wall.
16 min...TC Maletic 45 yard freekick from right is over players on edge of box and ball is caught by goalie.
19 min...TC Bedenkovic 40 yard freekick from left has SWE player head ball away on edge of box.
20 min...TC Deer 30 yard cross from left is just over head of TC Maletic at 5 yards on right post.
22 min...SWE Viciknez feeds through pass to SWE Hurtis at 15 yards who has defender check him off ball without getting away shot.
24 min...SWE Milicevic 45 yard freekick from left has SWE player foot-tap ball just inside box but its easily cleared.
25 min...SWE Milicevic throw-in from left has defender clear ball in box in front of charging SWE players.
27 min...TC Maletic 28 yard freekick from right is caught by goalie in front of players at 3 yards.
29 min...SWE Viciknez cornerkick from left is over to right side of box and and SWE Hurtis is knocked off ball just outside box.
30 min...SWE Viciknez 25 yard blast from left has goalie bat down and pick up ball.
31 min...SWE Dimitrov flagged offside for fourth time in about three minutes.
32 min...SWE Dimitrov cross on rush down right is just a step behind charging SWE Viciknez.
36 min...SWE Viciknez 35 yard freekick from right is curled directly to goalie for catch.
37 min...SWE Hurtis gets cross from left and quick 30 yard shot up middle is caught by goalie.
38 min...TC Bedenkovic 30 yard freekick from left is sent well high and wide right of net.
The sun now comes out.
39 min...TC Harris passes to TC Maletic who pushes ball ahead of three defenders but too far to regain position.
40 min...SWE Budalic 45 yard shot up middle bounces to goalie.
41 min...SWE Viciknez 50 yard freekick from right chipped and bounces wide right as no SWE forwaard ran for it.
42 min...SWE Stamatovic throw-in from even with edge of TC box and recross from right has defender head ball away.
43 min...SWE Budalic one-time kick at TC 30 yards of TC clearance bounces to goalie up middle.
44 min...SWE Milicevic 55 yard freekick from left bounces to right of box picked up by goalie.
47 min...half ends 5:13pm.

2nd Half:...starts 5:31pm.
halftime sub:...TC Pesa replaces Krampert.
46 min...SWE Viciknez low cornerkick from right has TC Deer clear away.
47 min...SWE Viciknez cornerkick from right has ball headed to left and SWE Braletic cross from left that's headed away.
49 min...SWE Tismenar sends ball forward to SWE Hurtis who scuffs 22 yard shot up middle low and wide right of net.
51 min...SWE Milicevic throw-in from left has ball headed away on edge of box.
53 min...TC Deer 30 yard pass to left bounces over left end line unplayed.
54 min...TC Bedenkovic cuts across field and 25 yard shot is just wide left of net.
55 min...SWE Milicevic rush on left and 25 yard cross is just over head of charging SWE players over end line.
56 min…Croatia Antonio Zupan GOAL…Croatia Marko Bedenkovic cornerkick from left has Croatia Halburto Harris head ball across box from 6 yards on right and charging Zupan near left post heads ball in from 5 yards into right side of net beyond goalie Dan Pelc.
59 min...TC Fitzwilliams takes too long to get away 15 yard shot and is checked off ball.
60 min...SWE Dimitrov ridden off ball on rush by TC Arapovic on rush on left.
61 min...TC Pesa low 22 yard shot from left after pass from left sideline by TC Fitzwilliams is smothered by goalie.
63 min...SWE YELLOW card...Viciknez for diving in TC box as TC Milicevic knocks him off ball on rush to get ball up middle.
65 min...TC Bedenkovic 50 yard freekick from right has goalie catch.
66 min...SWE sub...Janosevic replaces Budalic.
67 min...TC Pesa rush on left has SWE Jankovic leap to head away ball preventing open TC player from making play.
68 min…White Eagles Kiril Dimitrov GOAL…SWE Sasa Viciknez low cross from left from 35 yards has SWE Jonathan Hurtis in middle miss getting to play ball and Dimitrov on right side gets ball and shoots low 20 yard shot to left side of net beyond diving goalie Sandi Matika.
70 min...TC Brkic gets block in on SWE Viciknez to prevent breakaway but ball goes for cornerkick.
71 min...SWE Viciknez cornerkick from right is low and SWE Tismenar flick kicks shot backwards over end line from 6 yards on right for goalkick.
71 min...SWE sub...Bastien replaces Braletic.
72 min...SWE Dimitrov bumped off ball inside box after long run.
74 min...SWE sub...Sisovic replaces Viciknez.
76 min...SWE Dimitrov and SWE 29 get away on 2 on 1 but TC Brkic gets back to break up play.
77 min...SWE YELLOW card...Milicevic for timewasting on throw-in near midfield sideline.
79 min...TC Bedenkovic flubs 22 yard kick down middle popping it just over net when given pass from right.
81 min…White Eagles Jonathan Hurtis GOAL…SWE Adrian Tismenar receives short throw-in down right wing and backheels centering pass from 25 yards on right has Hurtis blast low 18 yard shot into low left corner of net.
82 min...SWE Dimitrov 30 yard shot from left is well high and wide right of net.
83 min...SWE sub...Bacanin replaces Dimitrov.
83 min...TC Bedenkovic 45 yard freekick from left is over players on edge of box and caught by goalie.
84 min...TC sub...Granic replaces Bedenkovic.
87 min...TC sub...Goddard replaces Brkic who is injured a minute earlier near center line.
88 min...SWE Bacanin rolls pass up middle to SWE Bastien but weak 20 yard shot rolls to goalie.
89 min...TC Pirlaja is touched back pass and blasts weak roller from 25 yards up middle wide right of net.
90 min...SWE sub...Lukovic replaces Hurtis.
90 min...TC Fitzwilliams cornerkick from left has TC Goddard poke 12 yarder over net from 12 yards in crowd of players.
92 min...A SWE defender heads ball back to goalie to prevent TC Granic from break up middle.
93 min...SWE Bacanin rush up left and rolls cross into box but easily cleared by defender.
93 min...TC Maletic rush up left and rolls pass to center but TC Pesa taps ball too far ahead for defender to clear at 15 yards.
93 min...game ends 6:29pm.

Final Score:…Toronto Croatia……….1…………Serbian White Eagles…………3………

Attendance was around 500 according to photographer Tony Pavia with the crowd divided up according to him at 70% Serbian and 30% Croatia fans. Official attendance was announced at 475. The weather was cold with a strong wind from the north. Some of the players besides the goalies wore gloves. Parkas were required for anyone outside. Rival fans were separated by two pieces of a string rope running from garbage cans in the front row to the fence at the stop of the stands with pieces of duct tape as highlights so people could see. I’m sure the seven police officers were a more important reason that fans remained calm.

Referee Yusri Rudolf had a quiet game with not a lot of rough play between the two traditional rival teams. The line officials were flagging White Eagle rushes offside. I thought there were about four in a row within three minutes around the 30 minute mark. White Eagles were able to break through the defenders in the second half.

Croatia had a very short bench with only four* players listed as substitutes including a goalie. Semi-retired player/manager Tom Granic was one of those pressed into service. From a Croatian official I talked to, offensive threats Tommy Ples is injured, and Johnathan Bustamante is serving a two game suspension but would be back for the final if they get that far. Midfielder Hayden Fitzwilliams had to move up as a striker. Croatia wasn’t much of a threat on goalie Dan Pelc for long periods of this game. White Eagles rotated players into the game in the second half to always have fresh players throughout the 90 minutes (seven subs allowed in this league although one is a goalie).

*actually Niko Pesa was a late write-in on their roster bringing their list up to five.

White Eagles have now won four games in a row since making coaching changes in time for the Sunday September 20th final regular season game against Toronto Croatia which was a 2-1 result. They’ve since won both quarterfinal playoff games against TFC Academy and today’s semifinal game. Head coach Dubko Prijic and assistant coach Kosta Stanojevic replaced Rafael Carbajal and Paolo Pacione after White Eagles were held to a 0-0 tie against Italia Shooters and had lost two road games immediately prior to that.

This game was taped for rebroadcast on Rogers Community channel later in the day. Rogers did not broadcast yesterday afternoon’s other semi-final in Maple between Italia Shooters and Trois-Rivieres Attak that ended in a 3-3 tie. The commentators don’t get enough ‘background’ and so therefore sound clueless about why Croatia was playing so poorly. I thought I’d try to help at halftime by filling them in about the short bench but waited too long as they were just cutting back from commercials.

This was a home game for Toronto Croatia as the first of a two game series. The return game will be played at Centennial Stadium on Saturday October 17th and Croatia must be glad that each game is counted as three points in the series rather than being a total goal series with them forced to come back from a two goal deficit. If Croatia wins that game, there will be a half hour mini game and if that is tied, a penalty shootout.

Because of the immediate renovations undergoing at Lamport Stadium—that is the installation of an all weather bubble over the field, the final on October 24th will be played at BMO Field! The MLS Toronto FC will be in New York that weekend. Hey Canada’s only ‘national’ league will play at Canada’s national stadium. I’ll expect they will restrict fans to about one section of the stadium to make clean up earlier. Also I can’t see tickets being more than $12 because they’ve been pre-selling tickets for about a month now. I will miss the return leg of the series like I did yesterday’s game because TFC is finishing off their regular season schedule with home game each Saturday. I’ll look forward to the final.

Rocket Robin

Croatia starters

White Eagles starters

Croatia Hayden Fitzwilliams on rush

high ball in Croatia end.

Croatia players break out.

Croatia Hayden Fitzwilliams near sideline.

Croatia Marko Bendinkovic takes freekick.

Croatia throw-in.

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