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Newfoundland and Labrador does what it had to do as Canada Games male soccer begins

Opens tourney with 4-0 win over NWT; less fortune for other NL teams Monday; cycling, golf begin today


Published on August 7, 2017

Newfoundland and Labrador's cycling team gets rolling at the Canada Summer Games today.

©TeamNL

It had to be seen as the expected result, but Newfoundland and Labrador’s 4-0 win over the Northwest Territories Monday in Winnipeg nevertheless represented an important first step in the quest for a men’s soccer medal at the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

Felly Elonda of St. John’s scored one of the goals and provided a beautiful set-up for another in a game NL dominated from start to finish.
It might be understatement to say Newfoundland was on the attack 95 per cent of the time in the 80-minute game at the three-pitch Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex
That meant the score could have — the demanding types might say should have — been even higher. Newfoundland shot attempts hit the woodwork twice, a number of free kicks from just outside the box didn’t turn out as planned and the ball was tantalizingly on the Territories’ goal line at least three times, only to smothered by the keeper or cleared away.
Mitchell Barry of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Gary McKeown of St. John’s and Jon Leckie of St. Philip’s had the other Newfoundland tallies.
Elonda, who had scored what would stand as the game-winner three minutes into the contest, played a big part on a goal early in the second half, sending a pass from deep in the corner across to McKeown, who converted for Newfoundland’s third marker.
Newfoundland and Labrador has today off as the Territories takes on New Brunswick, the third member of the D pool.
A New Brunswick win or a tie today would guarantee Newfoundland will advance to the medal round, but there is still much work to be done for Andrew Murphy’s team. A win over New Brunswick on Wednesday would give NL first place in its pool and a matchup against the second-place team in pool A for the opening game of what will start as an eight-team medal round.
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Competitive action began for Newfoundland and Labrador in two other team sports Monday.
At the seven-field John Blumberg Softball Complex on Winnipeg’s western outskirts, the NL female fastpitch team was beaten 10-0 twice, by Ontario and New Brunswick, while Newfoundland’s volleyball entries were swept in their openers at the Investors Group Athletic Centre at the University of Manitoba.
The women dropped matches to Alberta (25-13, 25-19, 25-9) and Quebec (25-15, 25-16, 25-16), while the province’s men’s team played just once, falling to Alberta (25-21, 25-14, 25-21).
Today, the women v-ballers play the third of their five preliminary-round games as they face Ontario, while the men hit the courts twice, taking on New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories.
The women’s softball team also plays twice, with games versus British Columbia and P.E.I.
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Play also started in Games tennis with the mixed team event, which saw all eight of Newfoundland’s tennis players participate in a six-match square-off with New Brunswick.
N.B. won five of the half-dozen matches, with the women’s doubles team of Olivia Casey and Ashley Stringer of St. John’s posting the only win for NL.
It will be a busy Tuesday at the Winnipeg Lawn Tennis Club, where the mixed team competition continues with Newfoundland taking on Saskatchewan and NL players also seeing action in the qualification rounds leading on to the main draw in singles and doubles events.
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Two more provincial contingents get in on the Games today, with cycling and golf getting underway.

bmcc@thetelegram.com