London City pulls out tie
London Community News
By Jonathon Brodie/London Community News / Twitter: @jonathonbrodie
No coach, no reserves, no problem for London City Soccer Club after the team tied the Montreal Impact 1-1 Friday (Aug. 10) to record the club’s fourth consecutive game without a loss in the Canadian Soccer League (CSL).
The sister-kisser is the worst result of the four matchups for London with the other games concluding in victories and Friday’s contest easily could have been another winner for the home team at Cove Road Field.
London laid an all out assault against Montreal in the first half, but whether it was Younan Samra being pulled down by an opponent on a fast break, Boban Stojanovic shooting wide with a clear path to the net or co-captain Nenad Begovic getting his kick blocked by a defender, the boys in red just couldn’t find the back of the goal.
“The first half we had a few chances, maybe five or six very good chances, and if you don’t score against a team like this, they can run on you until tomorrow,” Begovic said. “We have a big problem with our forwards. They have lots of chances, but they cannot score and I don’t know why… we must be patient on the five to ten metre (mark), that’s our main problem I think.”
Montreal hasn’t given up a lot of goals on the season and London at times needs as many as they can get. The Impact have only given up 12 goals in 12 games, while SC has let in 37 goals in 15 games — fourth worst in the 16-team CSL.
London started to show some extra kick in their step in the second half, but the next gear pushed the club to play a little sloppy and Montreal opened the scoring in the 73rd minute with a goal by midfielder Victor Ndiaya — only the Impacts third shot on net in the game.
At the 83rd minute mark, SC defender Mustafa Mohammad cleaned up a rebound to even the game and round out the scoring.
Despite London dominating the pace for most of the matchup, they do have a problem with only three players on the bench for substitutions, while Montreal filled their sideline with reserves.
SC’s co-captain Mike Marcoccia is on his honeymoon in Spain, newcomer Alexander Racca is working out VISA issues from the U.S. and several players are injured such as team goal leader Dalibor Mitrovic.
“We can't change anybody because we don’t have anybody on the bench,” Begovic said. “Even if you're (Team) England or Italy, you can’t play 90 minutes every game without substituting anybody.”
London currently sits two points out and only three teams behind from sitting in a playoff spot at 11th place in the CSL.
It was only four games ago when SC sat in the league’s basement of the standings with only eight points, but since starting a six-game home stretch and the team losing their head coach to personal reasons the club has been unbeatable.
“I’m not coaching, but I’m helping the guys,” Begovic said, taking over duties as bench boss during practices. “I have some experience changing a lot of countries as a soccer player. Eight, nine or ten (times), I’m not even sure.”
London continues the home stand against SC Toronto on Friday (Aug. 17), who will be SC’s toughest challenge yet during the stretch with Toronto sitting near the top of the standings. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. at Cove Road Field.
“We’ve had a lot of struggles,” said Denis Vidmar, London SC’s public relations director. “We’re battling but we’re getting there.”