1971 National Soccer League

League officials

League president: Ian Dickson replaced by Joe Piccininni
League secretary: Ivan Habus

Referees

Referees included Emerson Mathurin

Review of the season

St. Catharines Heidelberg joined the league. Ottawa Sons of Italy changed their name to Ottawa Tigers.

Toronto Croatia won the league and playoff championship.

Total attendance at Stanley Park for the whole season was 145,000. Up 15,000 from the previous season.

Results and standings

In the NSL opening game Toronto Croatia beat First Portuguese 2-0 on May 2 in front of 6,000 fans at Stanley Park.

On Tuesday night May 4 Serbian White Eagles defeated Toronto Hungaria 2-0. Inside left Menard Nenich scored the first goal and Slave Jankulovski the second goal for the Serbians.

In their opening game of the 1971 NSL season Sudbury City defeated Serbian White Eagles 1-0 on Saturday May 8. On the Sunday First Portuguese opened their NSL season by defeating Ottawa Tigers 3-0 at St. Joseph’s Field in Ottawa. Toronto Hellas defeated Hamilton Croatia 1-0. Toronto Hungaria defeated St. Catharines Heidelberg 2-0. London German Canadians defeated Sudbury City 3-1.

On Tuesday night May 11 Toronto Hellas defeated London German Canadians 4-1 in front of a crowd of 3,651 in Toronto.

Serbian White Eagles defeated Toronto Hungaria 3-1 in front of 1,017 fans on Tuesday night June 22. John Ognjanac scored two goals for the White Eagles and Slave Jankulowski once. Ernest Schlote scored for the Hungarians.

1,250 fans watched First Portuguese defeat Olympia 3-2 on Sunday June 27.

Ottawa Tigers started the season by losing their first 11 matches.

League president Ian Dickson had to resign due to medical advice in July 1971. Dickson had suffered his second heart attack a month earlier. He had been league president for four years. 

On Tuesday August 3 Toronto Croatia defeated Toronto Hungaria 3-0 in front of a crowd of 3,281 in Toronto.

On Wednesday night September 1 Julius Espelta scored two goals to lead Toronto Croatia to a 3-0 victory over Hamilton Apollos in Toronto. Marian Blaskovic sored Croatia’s third goal on a penalty kick.

On Wednesday night September 8 Julius Espelta scored Toronto Croatia’s goal as they defeated First Portuguese 1-0 in Toronto.

Toronto Croatia won the league and playoff championship.

Total attendance at Stanley Park for the whole season was 145,000. Up 15,000 from the previous season.

Final standings

Leading goalscorer:
1. Ferruccio Deni (Sudbury City)

Leading goalkeeper:
1. Zeljko Bilecki (Toronto Croatia)

Play-off final

October 11, 1971 at Stanley Park
Attendance: 7,000
Toronto Croatia 1 (Bruno Pilas)
First Portuguese 0

Export Cup – Canadian Open Championship

October 17, 1971 Toronto
Attendance: 4,373
Toronto Croatia 3 (Bruno Pilas, Alija Solak, Marijan Bradvic)
Vancouver Eintracht 0

Exhibition games

July 3, 1971 Toronto
Attendance: 7,500
Toronto Croatia 0
Dinamo Zagreb 1

July 18, 1971 Ivor Wynne Stadium, Hamilton
Attendance:
Hamilton Croatia
Dinamo Zagreb