Hot Show For Toros

John Lavagnino
Date Published: 
Independent Press-Telegram

The Toros opened their official National Professional Soccer League play Sunday by defeating the New York Generals 3-2 before 8920 receptive fans.

According to the new 6 - 3 scoring system the Toros receive 6 points for the victory plus a point for each goal for a 9-2 victory.

The game, off to a fast tempo, had all the action expected by the fans. From the beginning the game was rough. The Generals, like pacdors trying to cripple the bull, aimed their sliding tackles ankle high. These tactics climaxed in the second half when a General defensive man, Barrie Wright, picked up a Toro Linesman and threw him to the ground.

The Toros took it and gave it back. During the second half, Toro coach Max Wozniak broke up a field fight between a Toro and a General in front of the New York bench.

Dispite the disorders the Toros maintained control throughout most of the ball game.

Dragan Djukie scored first for Los Angeles on a penalty kick.

The sure goal was awarded after Mike Meesaros had unchallenged possession of the ball in front of the Generals' goal. Geoffrey Sidebottom, New York goalie, took a sliding tackle at Mike's ankles. This is a serious foul. Sliding tackles are legal only if the ball is played. Against a man they constitute dangerous play.

Following the score, the Toros attacked with rapidity. Attacks originated around left wing Herb Lenzinger, Latin favorite Sal Reyes, Dragan Djukic, and Eli Durante.

In the 23rdminute of play, Durante scored the first of his two exciting goals. The first was set up by Dragan. In the 40th minute, Durante saw an opening in the General defense and shot the ball into the net.

The Generals, never out of the contest, demonstrated a practiced mid-field passing game. Their hero, Warren Archibald, dribbled, passed and scored.

Archibald, on the New York attacking line, sent a hard shot from 25 yards through the Toro defenses to score in the 33rd minute.

The second General score, by Barry Maly, was set up by Archibald from a direct free kick.

The most exciting play of the afternoon resulted from a perfect shot by Dragan Djukic, Toro center forward, into the upper left corner of the goal. Geoff Sidebottom lept sideways, right hind extended, to just touch and deflect the ball over the net.

Second half play was rough and ragged for both teams.

The Generals claimed a goal in the early minutes of the second half, but referee Peter Rhodes disallowed it on an offsides technicality. Actually, Toro goalie Blagoje Vidinic charged for the ball. In the following melee a General attacker appeared to be pinning Vidinic to the turf to prevent his returning to the goal.

Apart from this real threat early in the second half, the Toros had little trouble breaking up New York's long pass attack.

The first 45 minutes of play represented an all-out effort by the Toros playing for the first time before a warm and cheering audience. During the second half they were obviously tired.

The Toro attackers missed two sure goals. With a wide open goal, Sidebottom down and no defenders near, Dragan missed the goal from five yards. Sal Reyes' finest shot of the afternoon hit the goal post.

Circilo Fernandez played for Herb Lenzinger during the second period. Now that Cirilo's injuries have healed, his play should spark the Toro line.

Coach Wozniak, pleased with the results of today's game, wondered how long the Toros can keep up the pace. They have 14 games in the next seven
weeks. In Europe, one game a week is maximum, and there they lack the pressure of the 6-3 system of scoring that keeps a team on the attack for 90 minutes of play.

The Toros' next game is under the Coliseum lights Wednesday night against Pittsburgh.