Boys U-16 Cup: Panellinios keeps medal hopes alive with narrow win against feisty Pheonix FC
Posted on 10 October 2015 in ↳ U-17 Cup
After dropping their opening game of the U16 Cup, Panellinios of Quebec kept their medal hopes alive by narrowly edging Winnipeg Phoenix FC by a score of 1-0. Moufrih Soufiane played the role of hero for the Quebec champions after converting a header in the 50th minute. With the loss Winnipeg Phoenix’s medal aspirations took a direct hit as they dropped to third place in Group B.
In a 10 team format, the first place teams in group A and B advance to play each other in the gold medal match, while the second place teams in each group cross over to play for bronze.
“We needed the three points to stay alive. I think that we played very good for most of the game. It’s normal for Winnipeg to push in the last 10 because they had nothing to lose, but we did enough to keep the score [at 1-0]” said Panellinios head coach Jose Luis Timteo.
With so much riding on the match, both Panellinios and Phoenix FC came out aggressively, playing at an extremely quick pace. While Quebec claimed the slight territorial advantage early on, they simply could not convert against a Phoenix team that adopted a bend but don’t break style of defence. On several occasions in the first half, speedy Panellinios striker Kerwin Mendez found himself in scoring positions, only to be snuffed out by the onrushing Phoenix FC Keeper.
As the sun peeked through the clouds to start the second half, Panellinios began to find some rhythm to their attack and were awarded shortly after the restart after left-back Daniel Kinube curled in a beautiful cross from the left flank, which evaded the Phoenix defenders and landed into the path of goal-scorer Soufiane. Having put in a man of the match performance, Kinube was at the centre of much of Panellinios’ build-up play and unsurprisingly it was his quality service that led to the winning goal.
After conceding, Phoenix FC threw caution to the wind and pushed desperately for an equalizer. The Manitoba club was almost rewarded for their efforts in the final moments of the game as they had a long-range effort fire off the cross-bar.
As both teams began to tire, the game became considerably more open, but Quebec did enough to hang on for the win.
Looking ahead, Panellinois plays QC United of Saskatchewan tomorrow at 2:15pm PST while Winnipeg Phoenix heads into a rest day.
Surrey United (BC) 7-0 Prince Edward Island (PE)
Nova Scotia (NS) 3-2 Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
Woodbridge Strikers (ON) 6-0 Saskatchewan-QC United (SK)