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Vaughan Shooters defender Jorge Molina (white) gets the ball in a successful challenge against Martin Peraza of Toronto Supra in the hard-fought CPSL opener. Peraza was later ejected in the 2-2 tie.

Hamilton Thunder and Metro Lions played to a 1-1 tie at Brian Timmis Stadium in Hamilton, the only game played in the Canadian Professional Soccer League Thursday.

It was the season opener for both teams and the home side took the lead after 12 minutes on a goal by Erin Hametaj who took the opportunity to find the net when goalkeeper Gregory Drakes of Metro Lions failed to collect a corner kick.

Darryl Gomez of Metro Lions tied the game just seven minutes later and the 1-1 tie held up despite several opportunities that could have sent a result in the direction of either team.

On Monday night in the league opener played on FieldTurf at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan, forward Joey Todaro of Vaughan Shooters struck for two goals and was a constant threat to Toronto Supra throughout, but his efforts were not enough for victory as two Eastern Conference teams fought to a 2-2 tie.

And for those who had Victoria Day fire crackers in mind, the game did produce fireworks that resulted in a player from each team being ejected late in the second half.

Tempers flared also late in the Hamilton vs. Metro Lions game and red cards were shown at the 87th minute mark by referee Frank Marciello to Hamilton forward Kevin Nelson and Lions� Marko Janjicek, both for violent conduct.

Hamilton Thunder won the Western Conference title in 2003, while Metro Lions ended the season 5th of six teams in the east.

Supra and Vaughan (Sun Devils in 2003) continued where they left off last year to produced the same brand of fast pace entertaining soccer that lifted the teams to second and third respectively in the east, a position that eventually took Vaughan to the league championship final where they went down to Brampton Hitmen last October 5.

Todaro�s goals came at the 14th and 65th minute mark, while substitute Sebastian Busto (51 minutes) and Danny Amaral (70 minutes) scored for Toronto Supra.

The close physical contest produced injuries on both sides and tempers flared late in the game causing referee Michael Lambert to show the red card to Martin Peraza of Supra and Fitzroy Powell of Vaughan Shooters.


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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