HAMILTON THUNDER WINS WESTERN CONFERENCE IN A THRILLER
Hamilton Thunder captured the Canadian Professional Soccer League’s Western Conference title with a thrilling last-minute 2-0 victory over playoff hopefuls Toronto Croatia at Brian Timmis Stadium Thursday.
At the same time, Brampton Hitmen held on to a second half goal for a 1-0 win over Mississauga Olympians at Victoria Park in Brampton and in doing so confirmed a runner-up finish in the Western Conference. The Hitmen have one game remaining.
While Hamilton completed its 2003 regular season campaign and now await the playoffs, so does London City which traveled for its last regular league game of the season to Esther Shiner Stadium in North York and held the Astros to a scoreless tie in a well played contest that could have gone either way.
The last game of the season at Brian Timmis was a thriller right to the end and it was close to the end when Stalin Cardenas scored at 91 minutes to put Thunder 1-0 up. A minute later when Croatia were awarded a corner kick, goalkeeper George Azcurra was pulled from the Croatia nets for an extra forward hockey style, but the effort failed and Hamilton broke away for Dave Simpson to score into the empty net, a 2-0 final score.
Hamilton Thunder took the Western Conference in just their second CPSL season following an also impressive third place finish in the 2002 inaugural campaign. Thunder ended with a 11-3-4 WLT record for 37 points as compared to the third place 8-7-4 record for 28 points last year.
Adolfo Mella scored the lone second half goal to give Brampton Hitmen the win over Mississauga Olympians. The Hitmen now have a 10-4-3 record with one game remaining, against North York Astros on Sunday.
The Astros clashed with London City in the 0-0 tie tonight and that ended the regular season for London City which finished with a 3-11-4 record for 13 points and last place in the Western Conference. City hosts next week’s final weekend in the CPSL and will also host the winner of the Western Conference quarter final game in the Wild Card clash next Friday, the opening night of the championship weekend. The winner will go through to the semi-final on Saturday.