THUNDER ON TOP OF WESTERN CONFERENCE WITH 2-0 VICTORY OVER TORONTO CROATIA
DANNY AMARAL - Toronto Supra captain led his team to the top of the eastern standings with two second half goals in a 3-0 victory Tuesday.
Hamilton Thunder took another step on the come- back trail with a 2-0 shutout of Toronto Croatia in an important bid by both teams for a playoff position at Brian Timmis Stadium in Hamilton Thursday.
Thunder jumped to the top of the Western Conference standings as a result of the victory.
While not officially eliminated, it's unlikely St. Catharines will capture one of the three berths in the Western Conference necessary to qualify for the championship playoffs.
But with just three regular season games remaining, the Garden City team sparked by two goals from Carlo Arghittu showed good determination in defeating Durham Storm 2-1 at Club Roma, St. Catharines in the only game played in the Canadian Professional Soccer League Wednesday.
In the only game played Tuesday night, Toronto Supra kept pace in the three-way battle at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 3-0 shutout of North York Astros at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan.
Supra captain Danny Amaral led his team with two second-half goals in this game as the CPSL moved into its last month of the campaign with the final regular league game scheduled for September 30 with playoffs and championship games through to the October 8 � 11 weekend.
Following a scoreless and evenly played first half, Hamilton took the lead immediately after the break on an own-goal by Croatia defender Joseph Cosentino. The Croatia defender put the ball past team-mate goalkeeper George Azcurra off a shot by Thunder midfielder Courtney Dennis.
Stalin Cardenas struck for Hamilton Thunder to make it 2-0 at the 65th minute. Hamilton's Kevin Nelson was moving in on goal when fouled by Azcurra, but referee Joe Fletcher played the advantage rule allowing Cardenas to hit the top corner of the net for a 2-0 final score.It was Cardenas' third goal in less than a week.
Hamilton jumped to the top of the Western Conference standings with a 7-3-5 WLT record for 26 points, two in front of Border Stars, while London City and Brampton Hitmen are tied for third position with 20 points. Toronto Croatia failed to make headway and sit in fifth with a 5-7-3 record for 18 points.
On Wednesday, Carlo Arghittu opened the scoring at the 32nd minute mark for a 1-0 half-time St. Catharines lead, but Storm's Domico Coddington tied the game 1-1 20 minutes into the second half.
Arghittu headed in the winner at 84 minutes when he took a cross from Anthony Strangers on the right wing to score well out of the reach of Durham goalkeeper Devon Spiers.
It was St. Catharines' third win of the season for a 3-9-5 WLT record for 14 points, while Durham Storm lose their 14th game of the season.
Supra took a 1-0 lead just before the break when Jose Moreira found the net in an even, well-played first half on Tuesday night.
Forward Danny Amaral, playing most of the time in an attacking midfield role, scored at 69 and 88 minutes, his seventh and eighth goals of the season. On both occasions he moved into the 18 yard box to slot the ball into the net.
Astros� best opportunity to scored came from a close effort by forward Daniel Jaroch at the 85th minute mark.
Supra go three points clear in the east with a 10-1-4 WLT record for 34 points, three in front of Vaughan Shooters and five points clear of Metro Lions.
North York Astros have been eliminated from playoff contention with their 3-8-4 record for 13 points, good for fourth position in the Eastern Conference.