Le Royal wins 2012 Challenge Trophy national title

Call it a moment of brilliance, or call it a moment of ‘je ne sais quoi,’ Samuel Georget’s goal at the start of the second half was the difference maker in the 2012 Challenge Trophy championship match.

“The goal that I scored, I don’t know how I managed to do that,” said Georget of his 47th minute strike that got Royal Sélect Beauport on the score sheet. “I reflected on it afterwards and I don’t know why I did it. It just happened the way it did during the match and it just fell perfectly. It was incredible.”

Royal Sélect Beauport and Edmonton Scottish played to a 3:3 draw in the 2012 championship final, but it was Le Royal that walked away with the Challenge Trophy after a 4-2 victory on kicks from the penalty mark. Georget scored a goal and provided two assists in a player-of-the-match performance that helped the Ville de Québec-based club win its first national senior men’s title. The 8 October championship final was played at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex in Winnipeg, MB and was broadcast live across the country via CanadaSoccer.com.

“It has been a season without defeat,” said Georget. “Since April, I don’t know if any other teams have managed that. I think we deserved to win the trophy for all the hard work we have put in.”

The championship match lasted 120 minutes plus kicks from the penalty mark before a national champion was declared. Beauport goalkeeper Vincent Cournoyer made two saves on kicks by Edmonton players, while all four Beauport players hit the back of the net with their kicks. Georget, Omar Gutierrez, Eduardo Davalos and captain-coach Michel Mana Nga were the Beauport scorers on kicks.

In a wild championship final, Beauport was reduced to 10 men after full back Pascal Bragagnalo was sent off after his contact with Edmonton’s Michael McCormack in the 29th minute, a rough tackle that left McCormack injured and unable to continue. In the heat of the moment with the other 20 players surrounding the grounded players and referee Geoff Gamble, Edmonton coach Kevin Poissant was also ejected from the match. Poissant had entered the field because of his dual role as team trainer to tend to McCormack, but the fourth official Drew Fischer ejected the coach for speaking with referee Gamble.

Seven minutes later, Edmonton took the lead after captain Kyle Bartkus headed in a ball past goalkeeper Cournoyer. From the Bartkus goal through to the end of the first half, Edmonton was fully in control on both the pitch and on the score sheet.

The match, however, changed dramatically in the second half after the Georget masterpiece from the left side of the pitch to equalise at 1-1. Georget hit a volley that sailed by everybody and fell perfectly into the back of the net.

“We knew we could do something, even with only 10 players on the field,” said Georget.

Four minutes later, Georget was just as keen with a delivery that gave Beauport a brief 2-1 lead. The brilliant Georget cross was headed in by Nafi Raynauld-Dicko.

Then in the 54th minute, Edmonton’s Kyle Bartkus made it 2-2 after he deflected a shot along the ground heading towards goal. It was the third goal in less than eight minutes by the two teams.

The two finalists were not quite done, though, as each side would score one more time before the end of the match. First Francisco Wong made it 3-2 in the 67th minute after he collected a rebound in the goal area. Then Vincent Barrette equalised for Beauport - again from a Georget pass - in the 77th minute of play.

After 90 minutes, an additional 30 minutes was played in search of a winner, albeit at a considerably slower pace than before with both teams exhausted from a full week of football (five matches in six days each).

In extra time, 91st-minute substitute Boris Salou had a terrific chance that could have ended the match before kicks were necessary.

This year marked Royal Sélect Beauport’s third trip in four years to the Challenge Trophy competition, having previously finished sixth in 2010 and runner-up in 2009. Gold medals were distributed to all 20 players after the match along with the historic Challenge Trophy.

While Edmonton Scottish won silver in the 2012 competition, Saskatoon’s HUSA Alumni won a bronze medal after a 3:1 win over PEI FC.