(KAMLOOPS, BC) – (U SPORTS) - Fans attending the opening match of the 2017 U SPORTS Respect Group Men’s Soccer Championship got their money’s worth.
Game one saw the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds go to extra time.
A goal with three minutes left in the second overtime period gave the Thunderbirds a 2-1 victory over the Varsity Reds.
Rylan Sangha scored the winning goal, catching the ball with his right foot, turning and firing, beating Varsity Reds keeper Evan Barker.
The teams were scoreless after the first half, one dominated by the Thunderbirds.
Just over 10 minutes in, UBC’s Patrick Metcalfe tested Barker from about 10 yards out.
In the 11th, UBC was awarded a penalty kick, which Barker stopped, one of the highlights of the game.
In the 23rd minute, the T-Birds’ Chris Damian had a chance but just put it over the net.
The teams played a see saw match in the second half.
The Varsity Reds scored the first goal of the Championship in the 78th minute when Dan Walker escaped his check, broke down the right side and slid it past UBC keeper Chad Bush.
The Thunderbirds answered in the 83rd minute. Kyle Sohi raced down the right side and crossed to a wide open Ryan Arthur, who tapped it into a wide open left side to even the match 1-1.
“We just keep making life difficult for ourselves,” said UBC head coach Mike Mosher. “Perhaps that’s what you get with a young team. Maybe life with a young team is that they don’t know any better and they keep coming back. We had a massive number of chances and could have put it away early. But hey, sometimes you put your head down and you keep going. That’s what we did today. We found that late winner.”
“It’s difficult losing in a national quarter-final and knowing your season is basically over,” stated UNB head coach Miles Pinsent. “Despite the fact we were playing our fourth game in seven days, I thought we were making some in-roads late in the game. At the same time, you could see the tired legs. We had a number of guys who had to come off because of cramps and other injuries because of the grind we have had with the games and the travel. There was a challenge in front of us and I thought the boys rose to it, as the game went on. Hats off to the guys for that.”
The Varsity Reds now fall to the consolation side of the bracket, while the T-Birds advance to Friday’s national semi-final.