Result of the Friday October 7, 2011 CSL game between Mississauga Eagles FC and Toronto Croatia played at Hershey Fields in Mississauga at 8:00pm. This was the first of a two game, most points Quarterfinal playoff between the two teams.

Mississauga Eagles (green socks, shorts, and numbers, white shirts)

...................12 Melford James Jr
16 Shaun MacDonald...17 Mohammed Habibzi...13 Antoine Paul...26 Kwesi Klass
15 Gregoire Akcelrod...19 Brandon Wellington...23 Jose Melo (cpt)...4 Ivan Juric
..............9 Shawn Brown...14 Tristan Watson

Subs:...32 Christopher Prouting (gk)...3 Tristan Scott (mid)...5 Thierry Mangwa-Batoman (def)...7 Matthew Macri (mid)...10 Damion Scott (mid) ...20 Jose DeSousa (mid)...30 Martin Artale (mid)
team officials:...head coach Josef Komlodi...assistant coach Paul Dhillon...goalkeeper coach Boodan Brasoveanu...assistant managers Alex Szczotka and Tony Costa

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

..................13 Antonio Ilic
7 Halburto Harris...4 Sven Arapovic...3 Josip Keran...15 Ainsley Deer
.........14 Augustin De Medina...23 Tonci Pirija (cpt)...22 Daniel Niksic
.........11 Marin Vucemilovic Grgic...10 Tihomir Maletic...8 Hayden Fitzwilliams

Subs:...1 Sandi Matika (gk)...5 Jonatan Bustamante (mid)...9 Hugo Herrera (fwd)...18 Bozenko Lesina (fwd)...19 Niko Pesa (fwd) ...21 Nicholas Goddard (def)
team officials:...head coach Velimir Crljan...assistant coach Miodrag Akmadzic...manager Ivan Kulis...assistant manager Perica Arapovic

Game officials:...referee Justin Tasev...referee's assistants Mac Meloche and Peter Pendli...fourth official Zac Taylor...(all black uniforms, neon yellow trim)

1st Half:...game starts 8:02pm...MEFC defends south end on this cool evening. It's already dark.
1 min...TC Maletic dribbles in middle surrounded by defenders and taps ball back for TC Vucemilovic Grgic to kick 22 yard roller that diving goalie saves on left post.
6 min...TC Deer rolls cross in from 25 yards on left. TC Maletic is bumped off ball at 10 yards on left post.
10 min...MEFC Melo 35 yard freekick from left has TC Harris head ball across edge of box.
10 min...MEFC Paul is centered pass from right and shoots over net from 8 yards.
15 min...TC Vucemilovic Grgic on left is pushed a through pass and he flubs 15 yard low and soft shot to goalie.
16 min...TC Pirija 25 yard shot is through crowd of players is caught just under bar.
16 min...TC player rolls ball through box that TC Maletic misses by a step.
17 min...MEFC Melo injured by TC Fitzwilliams in center circle.
18 min...TC Tonci Pirija GOAL...MEFC players can't clear ball from their own end and Pirija shoots 20 yarder down middle through players into left side of net.
20 min...TC Deer rush on left and taps ball back from left end line has MEFC player clear.
23 min...MEFC goalie charges out to dive on ball on left ahead of TC Fitzwilliams.
25 min...TC Niksic gets to roll ball in from right despite being held but MEFC player clears from box.
26 min...TC Fitzwilliams on rush on left rolls 20 yarder wide right of net on extreme angle.
28 min...TC Maletic cornerkick from right has defender head away but play whistled down.
31 min...MEFC YELLOW card...Klass earns it for pushing down TC Niksic on right sideline.
32 min...TC Maletic 30 yard freekick from right sideline has TC player head ball over net from 6 yards but the offside flag was up.
33 min...MEFC Wellington cross from left 25 yards has diving TC defender head ball away from 12 yards.
36 min...TC Marin Vucemilovic Grgic GOAL...TC Tihomir Maletic intercepts defender's pass at center line and rushes up right side. He's eventually caught by a defender but rolls pass from 15 yards across the box and Vucemilovic Grgic on left shoots low 15 yarder into right side of net beyond diving goalie Melford James Jr.
37 min...MEFC YELLOW card...Akcelrod earns it for pulling down TC Niksic at TC 50 yards.
41 min...MEFC Melo cornerkick from right has TC Maletic head ball down on right edge of box to clear.
46 min...MEFC Melo cornerkick from right has MEFC Akcelrod head 5 yarder that TC Pirija ducks on left post and heads off left line.

2nd Half:...starts 9:04pm. I found it was easier to keep time from my wristwatch then squint at the tiny timer clock on the opposite side of the field.
halftime subs:...MEFC Macri replaces Akcelrod.
.................MEFC Damion Scott replaces Juric.
47 min...TC Vucemilovic Grgic blasts 22 yard shot down middle over net and back fence.
50 min...TC Maletic cornerkick from right is headed away.
51 min...MEFC Brown on rush on left rolls ball through box from 20 yards a step ahead of charging MEFC Melo. Melo rescues ball and sends in cross but ball cleared.
52 min...TC Fitzwilliams rolls through ball from left to goalie as no TC player runs up middle.
53 min...MEFC Paul rushes back to save ball on goal line that was over sliding goalie at 12 yards.
54 min...TC Tihomir Maletic GOAL...TC Marin Vucemilovic Grgic on rush on right rolls cross to Maletic who shoots low 10 yarder through the legs of the diving goalie into the center of the net.
55 min...MEFC sub...Artale replaces Watson.
56 min...MEFC Melo 30 yard freekick from right has TC Fitzwilliams head ball behind end line.
56 min...MEFC Melo cornerkick from right partially cleared and MEFC Habibzi shoots 20 yarder through crowd of players wide right.
59 min...TC De Medina 30 yard freekick from left is headed into net from 5 yards but offside flag is up.
60 min...TC Fitzwilliams gets centering pass at 20 yards but checked off ball before he can control.
62 min...MEFC sub...Mangwa-Batoman replaces Habibzi.
64 min...MEFC MacDonald shoots 25 yarder from right is just wide of top left corner of net after ball had been worked across to right side of box.
65 min...TC YELLOW card...Fitzwilliams earns it for pushing a player on MEFC right sideline.
66 min...MEFC player taps 30 yard freekick from right sideline over to MEFC Melo who takes 30 yard cross that's crossed.
67 min...TC Fitzwilliams 25 yard shot from left has goalie fly to save and defender clears 8 yard rebound.
68 min...MEFC Brown is tapped over centering pass and shoots 12 yarder over the net.
69 min...TC sub...Herrera replaces Fitzwilliams.
74 min...MEFC MacDonald high cross from left sideline is cleared out left side of box.
75 min...TC goalie leaps in crowd of players to catch high cross from left 25 yards at 6 yards on right.
77 min...TC Deer cross from 25 yards on left is headed away at 10 yards.
78 min...TC Vucemilovic Grgic tapped short pass to left and shoots 15 yarder over net.
79 min...TC Maletic 25 yard freekick from wide right has goalie push ball wide left for cornerkick.
80 min...TC Vucemilovic Grgic cornerkick from left is cleared from right of box.
81 min...MEFC MacDonald runs up right and cross has TC Arapovic concede cornerkick on right from 5 yards.
82 min...MEFC sub...Tristan Scott replaces Melo.
83 min...MEFC player's cornerkick from right has MEFC Artale nod down header at 10 yards on left that bounces to goalie.
84 min...TC sub...Bustamante replaces Niksic.
84 min...TC Vucemilovic Grgic cross from left to TC player who blasts 20 yarder that sprawling goalie bats down.
85 min...MEFC Tristan Scott 25 yard crosses behind TC net.
85 min...MEFC RED card...Shaun MacDonald earns a direct ejection from referee Justin Tasev for a collision between him and TC Jonatan Bustamante (who'd just come into the game one minute earlier) near the center line. Both players are hurt on the play.
88 min...MEFC YELLOW card...Macri earns it for trip on TC DeMedina near center line.
90 min...MEFC Mangwa-Batoman 30 yard freekick from extreme right has defender head ball behind net.
90 min...MEFC player's cornerkick from left has defender head ball away.
91 min...MEFC Mangwa-Batoman cornerkick from right has defender kick ball away.
92 min...TC Tihomir Maletic GOAL...Maletic from 40 yards on run on left holds off continuous bumping by MEFC Brandon Wellington and rolls 15 yard shot from left into right corner of net.
95 min...game ends 9:54pm.

Final Score:.........Mississauga Eagles FC..........0.............Toronto Croatia........4..........

Attendance was about 150 on this cool evening. It was already dark before the game kicked off. The crowd was divided about equal in supporters.

I arrived to the usual field and noticed the referees warming up on that field where all the fences and the portable benches had been removed and the turf on the sideline had been rolled up. I thought the game would have to be cancelled but instead everything was set up at Hershey Field #2 which was just the length of the closed field away north from the dressing rooms.

Toronto Croatia dominated the game from the opening kickoff but a key moment in keeping the momentum going was in first half injury time when MEFC Jose Melo took a cornerkick from the right that MEFC Gregoire Akcelrod in the middle of the box jumped in a crowd of players and headed the ball downward from 5 yards to the left post that had TC Tonci Pirija duck to head the ball off the line.

Antonio Ilic earned the shutout for Toronto Croatia but didn't have to make many difficult saves.

Referee Justin Tasev kept the game under control. He gave out four cards to MEFC including the Red and one to Croatia. The Red card and three minutes later a Yellow both given to MEFC were needed to stop a game of hacking from breaking out as the score had gotten out of hand.

Best non-scoring chances were at 1 minute when TC Tihomir Maletic dribbled up the middle until surrounded by defenders and then tapped back for TC Marin Vucemilovic Grgic to kick a 22 yard roller that the diving goalie saved on the left post. 10 minutes had MEFC Jose Melo centered a pass from the right and shoot over the net from 8 yards. 16 minutes had TC Tonci Pirija shoot from 25 yards through a crowd of players that was caught just under the bar. Injury time had that important goal line save that I mentioned. 53 minutes had MEFC Antoine Paul rush back to save a ball on the line that was sent over the sliding goalie at 12 yards—this was undone one minute later by the TC goal. 63 minutes had MEFC Shaun MacDonald shoot a 25 yarder from the right that was just wide of the top left corner of the net after that ball had been worked across to the right side of the box. 67 minutes had TC Hayden Fitzwilliams take a 25 yard shot from the left that the goalie had to fly over to save and a defender cleared an 8 yard rebound. The next minute MEFC responded when Shawn Brown was tapped over a centering pass and a 12 yarder over the net. 78 minutes had Vucemilovic Grgic tapped a short pass to the left and he shot over the net from 15 yards. The next minute Maletic took a 25 yard freekick from wide right that the goalie pushed wide left of the post. 83 minutes and MEFC took a cornerkick from the right that MEFC Martin Artale nodded down from 10 yards on the left which bounced to the goalie. A minute later Vucemilovic Grgic crossed from the left to a TC player who blasted a 20 yarder that the sprawling goalie batted down. During the game Croatia also had two more headed goals called back on offside flags.

There was a bit of confusion about the result of this game with a 4-0 scoreline that I cleared up with the PA announcer for most of the GTA teams who had come here to observe. The 'win' just means that Toronto Croatia earns three points but MEFC only needs to win by ANY score to force a 30 minute mini-game right after the return match next weekend. That actually is a smart marketing strategy. I remember the 2007 Final which was stretched to a two game final. With Toronto Croatia holding a three game lead in the total goal contest attendance plummeted as the result was almost a given.

This was the last CSL game this season to be played at Hershey Fields. If MEFC do advance as the seventh place team to the semi-finals, they will play away to one of the higher ranked teams in what then become one game playoffs the rest of the way.

Rocket Robin

MEFC starters

Toronto Croatia starters

Captains MEFC Joey Melo and TC Tonci Pirija after coin flip.

TC Marin Vucemilovic Grgic (11), Hayden Fitzwilliams (8) and Tihomir Maletic (10) take kickoff.

TC Halburto Harris takes throw-in.

Referee ends play in MEFC box.

TC Ainsley Deer freekick.

TC Hayden Fitzwilliams charges for ball.

TC Halburto Harris crosses.

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