New attitude drives City to victory

KATHY RUMLESKI -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:01 PM ET

Hoping for the same results that saw the London Knights win OHL and Canadian junior hockey championships last month, London City has added depth, toughness and a new attitude that nothing but victory matters.

Park your egos at the door is the team's new motto at the start of its eighth season in the Canadian Professional Soccer League and 33rd year of play.

City is 2-0 so far following last night's 2-1 victory over Toronto Supra at Cove Road field. Two weeks ago the team beat the Windsor Border Stars 1-0 for its first win in Windsor in franchise history.

City manager Harry Gauss has stressed team play and for at least the first half of the match last night the squad played with a cohesiveness that has been lacking in London teams of the recent past.

"This is so exciting. The talent is here," said veteran left winger Eris Tafaj, who scored City's first goal.

Supra was the Eastern Conference champion last season and lost only two games all year.

However, City's slick passing and effort in the first half disappeared in the second half when the players had to scramble to clear the ball out of their end.

Tafaj's goal came one minute, 30 seconds into the game when he booted a well-placed ball into the right corner of Arthur Zaslanski's net. Ten minutes later, rookie midfielder Dennis Peeters sent in a ball that Zaslanski couldn't handle, falling back into the net.

The speedy Supra team played a better second half and had several scoring opportunities before Danny Amaral converted on a rebound.

In the 65th minute, City 'keeper Haidar Al-Shaibani, blocked the first shot from 15 yards out but the rebound went to Amaral, CPSL's player of the year last season.

"Al-Shaibani (the runner-up goalie of the year) was solid," said Gauss.

City also had early success last season, sitting in first place in the Western Conference at midseason before falling to fifth with a 7-10-3 record.

"In the second half we went into defensive mode," Tafaj said. "That's been our downfall for many years."

Gauss said the team is fit, so it's not a matter of losing steam in the last half. But a two-goal lead isn't enough of a cushion to stop playing offensively.

CITY 2

SUPRA 1


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