Visitors give London City valuable test

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:00 PM ET

Last night's preseason exhibition match against a Portuguese side from the Azores was fortuitous for London City soccer club.

The 2-2 draw gave City a much-needed match before today's Canadian Professional Soccer League opener in Windsor against the Border Stars.

"We haven't played a game yet. Normally we have four exhibition games," Harry Gauss, City's coach and general manager said of last night's friendly at Cove Road field.

Portuguese Angrense is in the area as guests of the Angrense Club of Toronto.

"We think we have a good team," said Gauss. "We wanted to test ourselves against a good level club."

Angrense (population about 95,000) is a third-division club in the Azores. It placed third in its league of 13 teams.

"So this was the gift to them," said George Medina, president of the Angrense Club of Toronto. The gift trip to Canada, which also includes playing games in Toronto, is partly financed by the government of Portugal.

It's the 75th year for the Azores club and Medina recalls the team also playing in London in the late 1960s. He remembers Angrense beating City 2-1.

Gauss said City has been host eight times to international squads, three of them from Portugal, since 1994.

"It depends on the quality of the team available at the time," Gauss said of bringing in international teams.

Angrense seemed to be the right fit last night and became a timely preseason game.

Unfortunately, Gauss said, a light rain made the field heavy, reducing the quality of play.

Even though it was a friendly, Gauss said there were no liberal substitutions.

The team selections are set and he wants his group to gel as quickly as possible.

Travelling with the visitors were the Angrense "oldtimers," who played an earlier match against a City alumni team.

That one ended 0-0.

GAME GLANCE

City 2, Angrense 2

London scorers: Michel Daoust, Bruno Samyoa.

Azores scorers: Gilberto Cardos de Meneses, Tiago Filipe Silva Rocha.

The game: Angrense scored two early goals but City got one back in the first half. With less than two minutes left in the game the CSL's youngest player, Samyoa, tied it when was sent through alone on the visiting keeper.

Next: City travels to Windsor today for it's CSL season opener against the Border Stars.


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