The Montreal Carabins will defend their U SPORTS crown on Sunday after outlasting the AUS champion Cape Breton Capers 2-1 in a 125-minute thriller at the 2019 U SPORTS Men’s Soccer championship presented by La Cage – Brasserie sportive in Montreal.
It was the third consecutive year where Cape Breton and Montreal met in the tournament, but the first time outside of the championship match. The two U SPORTS powerhouses didn’t disappoint, as Carabins keeper Félix Goulet made seven saves, including a critical first-half stop on a penalty, while Ben Jackson made three saves in a losing cause.
After a scoreless 90 minutes, the Carabins got on the board in the 104th minute on a penalty when Omar Kreim drove the ball into the lower left-hand side of the goal. Guy-Frank Essomé-Penda netted the winner with his second of the tournament in the 116th minute, capitalizing on a Cape Breton turnover in the area. Lohan Lefevre stole the ball from a Caper defender and tipped the ball on to the Essomé-Penda, whose right foot struck a screamer into the lower right side of the cage.
If the Carabins looked to be in control, a penalty in the 118th minute gave life to the Capers as Cory Bent beat Félix Goulet to the left, cutting the lead in half
After another seven minutes, the Carabins found themselves back in the U SPORTS championship match for the third consecutive season, setting up the second all-Quebec final in tournament history. Laval beat McGill in the 2009 final in Langley, B.C.
“This was a character win,” said Pat Raimondo, head coach of the Carabins. “After an emotionally-draining win over the York Lions last night, this wasn’t our best game, but now we will regroup to face UQTR on Sunday.”
“I thought we came out with a good game plan, putting a lot of pressure on Montreal in the first 20 minutes but we didn’t finish our chances,” said Capers head coach Deano Morley. “I’m proud of what we’ve done, and how we fought today. It’s not the result we wanted, I liked how we kept pushing forward and creating chance until the end of the match.”
The Carabins will face the UQTR Patriotes for the 2019 U SPORTS championship Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT in a rematch of last week’s RSEQ final won by Montreal. Cape Breton faces the Carleton Ravens for the bronze medal at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT
Nike Top Performers
Cape Breton: Peter Schaale
Montréal: Félix Goulet