One goal the difference in CSL heavyweight showdown

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Controversial goal lands Kingston FC a 1-0 loss to Toronto Croatia in rare Saturday home game

Kingston, Ont. Saturday, July 6th – First place is up for grabs, after Kingston FC conceded their first home loss on a rare Saturday night game at Queen’s University’s West Campus field in front of a record crowd of 650 fans. A controversial second half goal snapped Kingston’s perfect 6-0 home record, giving the defending CSL champions Toronto Croatia a 1-0 victory to climb three points closer to first-place Kingston.

Defensive awareness highlighted the first half, which featured one shot apiece through the scoreless first 45 minutes. Toronto Croatia imposed an early barrage, met by heavy Kingston FC pressure later in the half.

With the second half underway, both teams upped their focus on attacking..

Croatia earned the first solid chance, forcing Kingston FC goalkeeper Jaroslav Tesar into a sprawling two-hand save in the 56th minute. Croatia skipper Tihomir Maletic smacked a shot from 20 yards out, off Tesar’s hands and into the top of the woodwork.

Four minutes later, in the 60th, Maletic scored the game’s first and only goal. A Croatia midfielder – in an offside position – was ruled out of the play by match officials, while Maletic buried a low shot off a scramble in front. Despite intense protests from Kingston FC that netted Tesar a yellow card, the goal stood.

Kingston FC answered with a pair of free kicks, taken by midfielder Catalin Lichioiu, but both flew just over the crossbar. Joey Pineo replaced Toni El-Asmar in the central midfield and the resurgence continued.

In the 71st minute, the CSL’s leading goal-scorer, Guillaume Surot made a stunning move and nearly notched his 15th of the season to equalize. The French striker turned and fired one top right from the left side, but the keeper was up to the task – sprawling for a one-handed stop.

Surot hovered within the Croatia 18-yard box with ten minutes to play, and nearly equalized again. This time it was Lichioiu who made a cross from the right corner flag, directly to Surot who drove his volley inches wide of the left post from 15 yards out.

Pressure kept up five minutes into extra time, but Croatia’s back line held strong and kept Kingston scoreless for the 1-0 final.

The home side lost their first match on home turf, but remain in first place with seven wins and three losses. Toronto Croatia remain unbeaten, climbing into second place with six wins and two ties.

Kingston FC President and co-owner, Joe Scanlon was optimistic with the effort despite the result.

“We proved we can play with the best teams in the league, but we have to prove we can beat them,” he declared.

The race for first place continues, while three teams remain in the hunt. Kingston remains top of the league, while Croatia trails by a point and Brampton City United is behind by three.

“We’re still well within reach of our goal – which we stated at the season’s outset – to finish within the league’s top two,” Scanlon added.

Following the First Division game, Kingston FC’s reserves fell 3-0 to the visiting Toronto Croatia ‘B’. The home side dropped to 2-5 with the loss, while Division-leading goal-scorer Mademba Ba sat out with injury.

Next Saturday Kingston FC travels to take on the Windsor Stars, who they defeated 2-1 at home in June.

To purchase tickets for Kingston FC’s season, please visit our tickets page.

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Contacts:
Peter Morrow Nick Faris
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Kingston FC Kingston FC
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