GALAXY BLANK ATOMIC FC
Updated Thursday July 23, 2015 by Brantford Galaxy CSL.
The Brantford Galaxy turned themselves around on Sunday.
Following a disappointing home loss a week ago at the Steve Brown Sports Complex at Lions Park, Brantford scored a solid 2-0 victory over Toronto Atomic FC on Sunday night in Canadian Soccer League action.
The win helps erase the memory of the team's 4-2 loss to Scarborough SC on July 12.
"It was very disappointing," assistant coach Craig Fishwick said of the Scarborough game. "Both the first and second teams were badly outplayed. The players just weren't mentally there."
He said he was glad to see the first team turn the tables this week.
"This was huge," he said of the win. "They looked good out there. They didn't look anywhere near as lethargic or complacent as they have in recent games."
With Sunday's victory, the Galaxy are now 6-5-0 on the season, giving them 18 points, one more than Atomic FC (5-5-2). Brantford sat in third place, however, Toronto Croatia (5-3-1, 16 points) was playing a late game on Sunday with the chance to jump ahead of the Galaxy.
Galaxy head coach Tomo Dancetovic was ejected from the Scarborough game and sat out Sunday with a suspension.
Fishwick said he isn't sure when the coach will be back.
"As far as I know, he was definitely banned from this game and he has a meeting with the CSL on Wednesday," the assistant said. "It's their call.
"He had every right to want to have a discussion with the referee but a manager or coach shouldn't enter the field of play while the game is still going."
Dancetovic came onto the field to talk to the referee after a Scarborough goal that was scored immediately following what the Galaxy felt was a handball by an opponent.
That game and incident were pushed to the background against Toronto Atomic as the Galaxy hosted its biggest crowd of the season on Sunday.
There were chances for both teams to start the match but nothing of real substance, with the first reaction from the crowd coming when Toronto's Oleksandr Semeniuk tried to put the ball in off a header that missed its mark.
Brantford's Harris Fazlagic then had a good chance after getting by three players but his shot from outside the box barely missed the goal.
Following an exchange of yellows by the two teams right around the 30-minute mark, the best chance of the half arrived.
With only three minutes to go until the teams retired to their dressing rooms, a Galaxy player took down Ihor Melnyk in the box, not only earning himself a yellow but also giving Toronto a penalty shot. On the shot, Brantford goalkeeper Aleksander Mitic dove to his left and made a terrific lunging stop against Semeniuk, the league's sixth-leading scorer.
Early in the second half, the Galaxy got one opportunity and probably should have had another.
The chance they didn't get came in the 59th minute when it appeared that Sasa Vidovic was hauled down in the box but no call was forthcoming. Less than one minute later, after played moved on, Haris Redzepi blasted one off the post for the home team.
Finally, in the 62nd minute, Brantford was able to break through when Zdenko Jurcevic beat Toronto keeper Vitiv Ihor. It was Jurcevic's league-leading 13th goal of the campaign.
Mitic enjoyed a quiet second half in goal for Brantford but his counterpart, Ihor, didn't get the same rest. Although the Galaxy didn't put many shots towards the Atomic goal, play was in the Toronto end for most of the second half.
After several yellow bookings against Toronto players, Brantford added an insurance goal and once again it was Jurcevic.
In the 84th minute, Fazlagic put a corner out front and Jurcevic used his head to put it into the corner of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
That assist by Fazlagic put an exclamation point on what was a great game from the midfielder.
Fishwick praised the play of Fazlagic and Jurcevic.
"He's a key player," the coach said of Fazlagic. "He's very pivotal for what we do in the midfield. He gets forward with the ball every time he gets it. He just reads the game so well.
"(Jurcevic) is having a fantastic season. Some of his movement leaves a lot to be desired from a coach's point of view . . . but he's in the right place at the right time and that's all you ask for from a striker.
In any league on any team, all you want is a striker who is going to be there, know where to be and pick up that loose ball and put it into the net."
Brantford's is in the midst of a five-game homestand that continues on Sunday when its hosts Brampton City United in a 7 p.m. game at Lions Park.
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