Western Halifax win the 2018 Nova Scotia men's title

With files and photo from Soccer Nova Scotia George Athanasiou

Western Halifax FC won their third-straight Nova Scotia men's championship to qualify for the 2018 Toyota National Championships Challenge Trophy finals. The reigning national champions won 3:1 a.e.t. over Halifax City in the Tuesday 21 August final.

In the final, Man of the Match Jhonattan Córdoba scored two goals and one assist. He opened the scoring in the 37th minute after taking a pass from Patrick Barnes. Córdoba outraced the defence and slid the ball past Halifax City goalkeeper Chris Hayes. Halifax City equalised three minutes later after Jonathan Hammond converted a Paul Craig pass to beat goalkeeper Christian Oxner.

While there was plenty of action in the second half, there was no more goalscoring until extra time. After just one minute of extra time, however, Córdoba  jumped over a sliding City defender and fed a through ball to Enrico Rodriguez across the goalmouth. Rodriguez made no mistake.

Córdoba then made it 3-1 in the 105th minute after racing past a pair of defenders to put the match out of reach.

Western Halifax FC have won each of the past three Nova Scotia championships, the last two against Halifax City. In 2017, the provincial also went to extra time before Western Halifax won on kicks from the penalty mark. At the Toyota National Championships, Western Halifax FC won the historic Challenge Trophy.

In the 2018 provincial final, Western Halifax FC featured Christian Oxner (goal), Shawn Kodejs, Matt Cousens, Pawel Gorski, Enrico Rodriguez, Pat Barnes, Jonny Doucett, Shane Rajaraman, Danny Leblanc, Jhonattan Cordoba, and Wes Hawley.

Manolhas Karkada, Nana Kwaku Korankye, James Nearing and James Whiteman featured as substitutes. Frederick Bekkers, Alex Córdoba, Tristan Leopold, Nyle MacLeod, James Matthews, and Michael Trim dressed but did not feature while Jeff Arkin was unavailable.

At the 2018 Toyota National Championships in Saskatoon, the reigning champions Western Halifax FC will face winners from New Brunswick (Fredericton Picaroons Reds), Saskatchewan (Saskatoon Revolution), Alberta, and British Columbia (Surrey BC Tigers). 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.