Challenge Trophy: London Marconi will face Edmonton Scottish in championship final
Posted on 12 October 2015 in ↳ Challenge Trophy
Semi Final Thanksgiving Sunday has come and gone. Gusty winds would make for unpredictable and troubling conditions for the players.
Semi Final 1 – London Marconi (ON) 2-0 Estrella de Chile (BC)
With everything on the line, it was a shocking incident early on that would result in two players being sent off. Estrella de Chile’s Stedman Espinoza made a nasty tackle. Haris Cekic took liberty into his own hands shoving Espinoza to the ground. Both would be issued straight red cards.
Minutes later Ontario would draw first blood. A 22nd minute corner kick flew over everyone, falling onto the foot of unmarked defender Alex Lewis. Lewis showed composure, firing the ball into the back of the net.
London Marconi was shutting down big man striker Mohammed Habib and the rest of the BC offense. Burnaby didn’t take their first shot until the 49th minute of the match. An attempted bicycle kick by Habib ended up at the feet of Ylya Malek. Defender cut down the angle forcing Malek to shoot wide. Habib would later score, but the goal was called back for fouling the keeper and yellow carded.
It would then turn into the Denver Spearman show. Spearman nearly scored a real striker’s goal in the 57th minute. Beating three BC defenders to the ball, he looped a header over the keeper only to come back off the bar. A little bit later Spearman would score to make it 2-0 for Ontario. He twisted and turned his BC defender inside out before striking a low footed strike past the keeper.
In the 80th Joe Agiba received a second yellow for a poor challenge and was sent off. It was all but over. The game fizzled out according to plan for London Marconi. Final score Ontario 2-0 over BC.
Semi Final 2 – Edmonton Green & Gold (AB2) 1-2 Edmonton Scottish (AB)
The all Alberta final would create some real talking points for many years to come.
It started with a howitzer strike from Scottish player Samuel Lam in just the second minute. Jaswinder Gill did well to parry it away.
Referee was not shy to show yellow on this day, seven in total. After a couple warnings Mohammed Teliani received a booking for persistent infringement. Less than ten minutes after that, controversy. He would receive his second yellow on a nothing play and expelled from the match. Many were left confused and unsure of the call.
Less than 30 minutes into the contest Green and Gold would have to play the remainder of the game without their influential striker and enforcer.
Jordan Ongaro would have a number of chances this afternoon. In the 48th minute he would convert. He found himself in alone against the keeper with ample time. It would be an easy finish with a lot of net to shoot at. This was the first goal Green & Gold had conceded in the tournament.
Playmaker Sebastian Cabrera and Bruno Zebie fought hard for the equalizer. They would force a number of corners in the second half. In the 58th minute, Christopher Gilroy would get his head to a Cabrera corner and bury it to notch things up at one.
With a shoot out looming, summon hero Marcus Johnstone, again. Scoring the equalizer in injury time against Saskatchewan the day previous, this time his goal would be the winner. Left alone in the 83rd minute a free kick from the right flank would find Johnstone. His powerful header would beat Gill and give Scottish the lead.
Running on tired limbs, Green & Gold had no answer. The final whistle would sound and end their dreams of a national title.
Edmonton Scottish reaches their third club nationals in history. Final score two for Scottish, one for Green & Gold.
Marcus Johnstone spoke of the goal: ‘We had a free kick, I was unmarked got through from the back post, and just the right place right time, got a head on it.’
Johnstone on the win: ‘It’s good to get into the final; we’ve had some really tough game throughout, feels good to win.’
Johnstone on his team: ‘Great effort, I think that were a really deep team and we’ve had to work hard through all of our games. And use everybody even myself, I’ve been battling an injury for about a year now and just getting back into things. So I think our team effort all around has been fantastic.’
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) 4-2 Fredericton Picaroons (NB)
London Marconi (ON) 2-0 Estrella de Chile (BC)
Nova Scotia (NS) 1-2 Winnipeg Juventus (MB)
Rapides Chaudière-Ouest (QC) 0-3 Saskatchewan HUSA Alumni FC (SK)
Edmonton Green & Gold (AB2) 1-2 Edmonton Scottish (AB)
PEI FC (PE) 5-0 Northwest Territories (NT)