Great games: May 20, 1961 Toronto City 2 Toronto Italia 3

The opening game in Toronto of the Eastern Professional Soccer League’s first season was played in Toronto on May 20, 1961. The game attracted 16,509 fans to Varsity Stadium.

The two teams were packed with British, Italian and South American stars. The biggest name being 46-year old former England international Stanley Matthews.

Line-ups:

Toronto City: Smart; Caldwell, McGlennon; Blanchflower, Gatrix, Robinson; Morton, Mudie, Cairns (Morgan), Harvey, Ashberry

Toronto Italia: Di Davide; Pizzutti, Romanin; Piccioli, Kelly, Lazzeri; Bertolin, Quaglia, Bundchoks, Chuvano, Bettela.

Toronto Italia defeated Toronto City 3-2 in front of what was described as a very enthusiastic crowd.

After 29 minutes of play Toronto City’s Ambrose Morgan had to replace teammate Ben Cairns. One minute later he scored the first goal of the game. The goal was a result of a pass from Tottenham Hotspur star Danny Blanchflower to Cyril Robinson, who set up Morgan to score.

Toronto City’s second goal was scored by Jack Mudie. Stanley Matthews had the assist.

The first half ended with the two teams tied 2-2.

Goalscorers for Toronto Italia were Girogio Lazzeri, Fred Bundchoks and Carlos Chuvano. However, it was Matthews who was said to have been the star of the game.

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