METRO LIONS SURPRISE JAMAICA'S PORTMORE UNITED 1-0
Arnold Milan, president and owner of Metro Lions Soccer Club announces the visit to Toronto this weekend of a top Jamaican team
A picture goal midway through the second half by midfielder Caswain Mason was enough to give Metro Lions a popular 1-0 victory over visiting Portmore United of Jamaica in a well-attended game in ideal conditions at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough Sunday afternoon.
The goal, a striking header from a left wing cross by Lions' Ainsley Romany, was all Metro Lions needed to win the inaugural Arnold Milan International Soccer Cup following a decision to donate all preceeds of the event to the Jamaican Relief Fund.
The game was originally scheduled to be played September 12 but was delayed one week when the team decided not to leave Jamaica about to be battered by Hurricane Ivan.
Portmore had the edge in the first half of a hard-fought, entertaining encounter, but Metro Lions came more into the picture after the break and Mason's header at 56 minutes left Jamaican 'keeper Shawn Sawyers little chance.
Portmore had an opportunity to tie the game 10 minutes later, but captain Anthony Modeste's kick flew the wrong side of the post with Metro Lions' goalkeeper Courtney Campbell well beaten.
Modeste came close to scoring three minutes later when a dangerous free kick from just outside the penalty box went inches wide.
An elated Goran Miscevic, coach of Metro Lions said he thought the game was of a high standard which is just what the fans wanted.
"I watched the Jamaican's practice and was very impressed, but my players rose to the occasion and I'm very happy the way it turned out," he said.
Portmore coach Horace Reid thought the game was good for the fans and although disappointed with the result, was pleased with the way his team performed.
"With just two weeks to the start of our season it gave us the test we needed," said Reid, who thought Ryan Maxwell, Denzil Watson and Jason Morrison stood out.
"I'm especially pleased our young players, they handled the game well."
Soccer in Jamaica has become an industry following the memorable nineties when the Jamaican national team attracted worldwide attention by qualifying for the World Cup Finals in France �98.
The Reggae Boyz, as the national team players were fondly known, launched a new wave of enthusiasm and excitement resulting in a greater interest in the Caribbean island and Jamaica�s global soccer merchandise sales soared well beyond all expectations.
Suddenly Jamaica, previously known for its tourism, its rum, its sugar, music and world-class track athletes, suddenly and unexpectedly became known for its soccer.
Arnold Milan is an entrepreneur, owner of several companies and owner of the Metro Lions Soccer Club of the Canadian Professional Soccer League and he�s determined to do his part to assist the further development of soccer in Canada.
�I think more visits from good soccer teams from other countries will help strengthen the game here in Canada and that�s the reason for introducing this trophy,� Milan announced to a press conference before the postponement. �CPSL teams play good soccer and the challenge of such visits annually will help raise the game.�