Western Halifax FC win second-straight Nova Scotia provincial title
Posted on 23 August 2017 in ↳ Challenge Trophy
It took extra time and kicks from the penalty mark, but Western Halifax FC prevailed to win their second-straight Nova Scotia men's provincial title on Tuesday 22 August. The 2017 winners won 4-2 on kicks following a 2:2 a.e.t draw with Halifax City, with both sides trading goals late in the second half and then again in extra time.
With the win, Western Halifax FC qualified for the 2017 Toyota National Championships, which run 4-9 October in Surrey, British Columbia. The Nova Scotia winners have been drawn into Group A, which means they will face the Newfoundland Labrador winners (to be confirmed in September), the Alberta winners (to be confirmed in September), Vancouver Club Inter FC of British Columbia, and Saskatoon HUSA Alumni of Saskatchewan.
Shane Rajaraman scored both Western Halifax FC goals while Christian Oxner earned player of the match honours. After Halifax City opened the scoring in the 81st minute (own goal), Rajaraman equalised five minutes later. Rajaraman then gave Western Halifax the 2-1 lead six minutes into extra time, but Cooper Coats equalised five minutes after that.
On kicks, all four Western Halifax FC players scored (Ryan Casey, Danny LeBlanc, Wesley Hawley, and Rajaraman) while Oxner stopped the initial kick by Paul Craig. Halifax City scored on two of their four attempts.
"It was a tough game, but the whole team pulled together," said Rajaraman."This was our goal from the beginning of the year."
Western Halifax FC's starting XI featured Christian Oxner in goal, Ryan Casey Shawn Kodejs, and Pawel Gorski across a three-line back, and Leo Sanchez, Danny LeBlanc, Shane Rajaraman, James Nearing, and Jonny Doucett in the midfield, and Jhonattan Córdoba and Wesley Hawley up front. Also in the lineup were Tristan Leopold, Matt Cousens, Alex Cordoba, Patrick Barnes, Zach Mbolekwa, James Matthews, Jack Schembri, and Jeff Arkin.
Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships serves as our nation’s premier amateur competition, with the 2017 edition featuring close to 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 Surrey, British Columbia; the boys and girls U-17 Cup finals in Fredericton, New Brunswick; and the boys and girls U-15 Cup finals in Calgary, Alberta. 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.