Saskatoon Revolution win the 2018 Saskatchewan men's title

With files and photos from Lee Kormish

First-year club Saskatoon Revolution won the Saskatchewan SK Open Cup to qualify for the 2018 Toyota National Championships Challenge Trophy finals. The Saskatoon club won their first provincial title after finishing in first place in the three-team, three-match final series in Saskatoon from 17-19 August.

After both Saskatoon Revolution and Saskatoon HUSA Alumni beat FC Regina on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Sunday finale served as a championship grudge match. The former national champions HUSA Alumni had the edge in goals difference, but the new kids on the block Revolution came out on top with a 2:1 victory to clinch the SK Open Cup. The Revolution victory put an end to HUSA Alumni's incredible nine-year reign in the province of Saskatchewan.

Nearly 700 fans attended the Sunday finale, a tightly-contested affair played in warm conditions and under the sunny sky. Revolution drew first blood in the 21st minute on the Luigi Bekwayo goal. Former HUSA Alumni striker Garrett Peters then made it 2-0 for the Revolution in the 51st minute after a nifty side step past the goalkeeper.

With a dynasty nearing its end, HUSA Alumni left it all on the field. Nathan Reis' sheer determination brought the game within one after he squeezed one by former teammate Michal Bandula. HUSA Alumni pushed for the equaliser, but Revolution captain Jordian Farahani led a defence that shut down the barrage of attacks in the last 30 minutes. HUSA Alumni came as close as ever in the fifth minute of added time, but Jerson Barandica-Hamilton's free kick just missed the target.

"It's a great feeling, we're super excited and I just can't stop smiling," said Peters. "Hats off to HUSA Alumni, having come from that organisation... they are a class organisation."

In all, Saskatoon Revolution's 20-player squad featured eight former HUSA Alumni members, including 2011 national champion David Brown and 2015 Saskatchewan Player of the Year Garrett Peters. Along with his goal against his former team, Peters also scored two goals in Friday's 3:0 win over FC Regina.

WINNERS - SASKATOON REVOLUTION:
In the final match, Saskatoon Revolution’s starting XI featured Michal Bandula (goal), Jordian Farahani, Austin Boryski, David Brown, Tanner Stephens, Garrett Peters, Dion Morgan, Luigi Bekwayo, Mitch Bauche, Scott Myrah, and Bobbi Nicholat.

The Revolution team also featured Delbert Albert, Carson MacDonald, Duncan McDougall, Jon Neufeld, Jean-Marie Perrault, Shedrek Samuel, Cesar Santamaria, Grzegorz Skowronski, and Kristen Swiatecki.

At the 2018 Toyota National Championships in Saskatoon, the host Saskatoon Revolution will face winners from British Columbia (Surrey BC Tigers), Nova Scotia, New Brunswick (Fredericton Picaroons Reds), and Alberta. The 10-team competition runs from 3-9 October.

Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships serves as our nation’s premier amateur competition, with the 2018 edition featuring more than 600 clubs from across the country competing for a spot at one of three locations: the men’s Challenge Trophy and women’s Jubilee Trophy finals in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; the boys and girls U-17 Cup finals in Surrey, British Columbia; and the boys and girls U-15 Cup finals in Laval, Québec. The Toyota National Championships provide a meaningful soccer experience for host cities and participating teams, as well as the players, coaches, support staff, officials, and volunteers. These competitions are complimented by both the Futsal Canadian Championship and the Canadian Championship featuring Canada’s professional clubs.