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O'Neil Brown of Metro Lions outpaces London City in the early going, but it was London that won the inaugural Open Canada Cup.

It took a week of uncertainty and a day of frustration not knowing if Friday�s wild card game would be allowed to take place. Add three weekend games of fast-paced bone crunching soccer, the drama that is golden goal overtime, all followed by eight nail-biting penalty kicks.

But when it was all over, London City had won the Open Canada Cup and a $10,000 cash prize, defeating Metro Lions and it happened before home fans at Cove Road in London on Labour Day Monday.

If ever there is such a thing as agony and ecstacy in soccer, this had to be it.

�Yes, it is our biggest win since the team was formed 30 years ago,�said Harry Gauss, the owner of a team that London calls its own and he certainly has the fans to prove it judging by the urging that came from many who seemed to be saying in a steady light rain that this is the end of summer and I�m going to make the most of it.

�But never in a 100 years would I think we would go through this to do it,� he added.

London City nipped Metro Lions on penalty kicks following 90 minutes of regular play and 30 minutes of overtime that produced a 1-1 tie and two tired teams that gave it everything you would expect of a cup final.

The win gave London the first Open Canada Cup, the first time pro and amateur teams-- 22 in all--l had come together in Canadian soccer to play a club championship. It�s the beginning of an all-Canada competition under the auspices next year of the Canadian Soccer Association to produce a Canadian club champion to go into the CONCACAF playoffs.

Mayor of London Anne Marie De Cicco presents the Open Canada Cup to a jubilant London City.

When Luan Jonuzi found the net with the fourth penalty kick for London City, it was all over. His goal followed three successful spot kicks from team-mates Eris Tafaj, Gentjan Dervishi and Erik Elmauer, while Jason Baker and Darryl Gomes hit the net for Metro Lions, but Kareem Reynolds and Hayden Fitzwillaims didn�t.

It was Dervishi who gave London the lead in the first half and Craig Patton who tied for Metro Lions after the interval in a game that appeared to become more physical with time. The main casualty was London�s Tonino Commisso, ejected by referee Silviu Petrescu on being shown a second yellow card 35 minutes into the second half, leaving a tiring London team with 10 men and well into their third game since Friday.

The 1-1 tie at the end of regulation time became 1-1 after overtime and Jonuzi�s goal from the spot to end the once dreaded penalty kicks threw the home crowd into a frenzy.

London defeated Durham Flames, 4-1, in Friday�s wild card game, then won its semi-final, 2-0 over Kanata on Sunday. Metro Lions downed St. Catharines Wolves, 3-1, in the other semi-final.


In addition to Toronto Croatia, which other club has won the CPSL championship twice?
St. Catharines Roma Wolves
Ottawa Wizards
Toronto Olympians
North York Astros

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