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London Central goalie Mark Pierce, third from left, congratulates Seth Hansen on his first-half goal against Bamberg on the opening day action of the 2004 DODDS-Europe soccer championships in Ramstein, Germany, on Thursday.
London Central goalie Mark Pierce, third from left, congratulates Seth Hansen on his first-half goal against Bamberg on the opening day action of the 2004 DODDS-Europe soccer championships in Ramstein, Germany, on Thursday. (Michael Abrams / S&S)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Bamberg staved off several scoring chances in the final minutes as the Barons edged London Central, 2-1, Thursday on the opening day of the European Division III boys soccer tournament.

Tommy Spindler scored the winning goal that sent the Barons into the tournament semifinals. One-third of the way through the second period, Spindler broke past the London Central defense, got control of a high-bouncing ball and tapped it past goalkeeper Mark Pierce for the game-winner.

It didn’t look like the score would hold up as London Central kept up relentless pressure, but the Bobcats couldn’t find the net. Jeremy Tibbetts whistled a shot off the crossbar with 3:30 to go, and Neal Stainbrook rattled the left post with another blast 20 seconds later.

“How much possession can you have?” wondered London Central coach Fredo Ontiveros, whose team dominated the positional battle but got its only score from Seth Hansen in the first half. “We were just unlucky.”

Bamberg keeper Kenny Oberlin had 14 saves to preserve the win.

“We had to jump in the way of a lot of shots today,” said Bamberg defender Nik Krauchi.

Collins Wonzina scored the other goal for Bamberg.

The victory followed a 1-1 tie with Mediterranean Regional tournament champion Naples earlier in the day, good for four points and a spot in Friday’s 9 a.m. semifinals at Kapaun Air Station in Kaiserslautern.

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