LIONS ROAR INTO PLAYOFFS WITH 3-1 VICTORY
GABRIEL SALUSTIUS - Metro Lions forward one of three players to score a pair at the The Soccer Centre Tuesday night.
Metro Lions jumped into the runner-up position in the Eastern Conference of the Canadian Professional Soccer League following a 3-1 win in the final game of the regular season played at Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke Thursday.
The win paved the way for a CPSL Championship Eastern Conference quarter-final game between Lions and Vaughan Shooters at Birchmount Stadium during the next few days, with the winner meeting Toronto Supra in the semi-final on October 9.
Toronto Croatia will host Windsor Border Stars in the Western Conference quarter-final and the winner will meet Brampton Hitmen in a wild card game scheduled for Friday, October 8. The winner of the wild card game will meet Hamilton Thunder in the semi-final, also on Saturday, October 9.
The CPSL Championship Final will be played on Thanksgiving Day, Monday,October 11 at Victoria Park in Brampton.
Paul Munster, London City's Northern Ireland-born striker commands all of the attention in the last days of the CPSL season when he struck his second 4-goal scoring spree in a 5-0 victory over Brampton Hitmen at Victoria Park Wednesday night, and in one other game played in the Canadian Professional Soccer League, Hamilton Thunder celebrated winning the Western Conference title with a 4-1 win over St. Catharines Wolves at Brian Timmis Stadium.
On Tuesday night, Metro Lions, aided by two goals each from Gabriel Salustius and Hayden Fitzwilliams outlasted North York Astros, 4-2, in the last regular league game of the season at The Soccer Centre, the only game scheduled Tuesday, and
on Monday night, Eastern Conference winner Toronto Supra squeaked past bottom of the table Durham Storm by a 1-0 score at Centennial Stadium. This game marked the beginning of the last week of regular season play in the CPSL, and which ended with the Toronto Supra vs. Metro Lions game on Thursday.
Paul Munster scored his four goals at 23, 37, 48 and 55 minutes, with midfielder Karim Ben Sari scoring the fifth at 81 minutes for the 5-0 final score over the Hitmen.
London City ended its season with a 7-10-3 WLT record for 24 points and fifth place in the Western Conference, while Brampton has a 7-8-5 record for 26 points and fourth place.
Munster scored four goals including three in a span of just 10 minutes and the winning goal in a 4-3 London City win over St. Catharines Wolves on August 6. At that time, the 22 year-old was described as being sensational.He clinches the CPSL scoring title with 25 goals.
Hamilton Thunder closed its regular season with the 4-1 win over St. Catharines Wolves. Striker Kevin Nelson hit two, Sasa Milaimovic and Adrian Ramos getting singles. Thunder win the Western Conference with a 10-4-6 record for 36 points, while St. Catharines Wolves end with a 3-12-5 record for 14 points.
Three players each scored a pair at The Soccer Centre on Tuesday, beginning with a North York Astros’goal by Alex Braletic just two minutes after the opening whistle.
Metro Lions tied the score 1-1 when forward Gabriel Salustius found the net five minutes later and Astros took a 2-1 lead at 22 minutes when Braletic struck his second of the match and his 10th of the season
Metro Lions tied the game 2-2 on Hayden Fitzwilliams’ first goal just before the break for a 2-2 tie at half-time and Salustius hit his second just two minutes into the second half for a 3-2 Lions’ lead.
Fitzwilliams put the game out of reach for Metro Lions when the talented player from Trinidad & Tobago scored his 9th goal of the 2004 campaign for a 4-2 final score.
North York Astros have completed their season, finishing in fourth position in the Eastern Conference standings with a 3-13-4 record for 13 points.
On Monday night, Durham Storm showed good courage in holding an aggressive Supra squad for most of the game until forward and team captain Danny Amaral headed home his 14th goal of the season at the 76th minute mark.
The win gives Supra a 14-1-4 WLT record for an impressive 46 points, having already secured the Eastern Conference.
Durham Storm completed their inaugural season in the CPSL with a flurry despite the narrow 1-0 loss, having won their only two games and tied one during the past 10 days, finishing with a 2-17-1 record for seven points.