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Written By JAKE COURTEPATTE
An undefeated round robin against some of the country's top teams set up the Caledon SC men for a silver medal finish at last week's 2018 Toyota National Championships.
Ten of the top teams representing their province or territory converged on Saskatoon for Canada Soccer's premier event of the year.
Representing Ontario, the Caledon side opened up the tournament on Wednesday with a 0-0 draw against Quebec's Royal-Select Beauport. The clean sheet continued into game two of the round robin, when a first-half goal from Kevin Omokhua and a second-half marker from Domenico D'Agostino secured a 2 – 0 win over FC Winnipeg Lions.
With only the top sides from each grouping meeting in Monday's championship match, the side from Ontario set themselves above the rest of Group B on day three of competition in a 2 – 0 win over Holy Cross of Newfoundland.
Monumental in handing Holy Cross their first loss of the tournament was Diego Gonzalez and Jeffrey Gonsalves, who notched the game's two goals.
Heading into the final day of round robin play with a firm lead atop the group, Caledon managed to keep the shutout alive in an 11 – 0 romping of the Yellowknife YK Galaxy FC. Gonzalez pitched in four goals in the effort.
Meeting up with the only other squad to go undefeated throughout the tournament, Caledon had their hands full on Teck Finals Day against the Surrey BC Tigers Hurricanes, who jumped out to a 4 – 0 lead by halftime to essentially put the championship match out of reach.
With the score 5 – 0 early in the second half, Caledon's Stavros Badunas finally broke the goose egg in the 53rd minute, finishing off a cross that fooled a BC keeper out of position.
Gonzalez kept his scoring streak alive by burying a waist-high strike from in close to the top corner in the 68th-minute, while Jordan Piccinin added a late marker after blocking a clear from the BC keeper before running the ball back to centre with time running out.
It was too little, too late for the Caledon squad, who can hold their heads high with a silver medal performance.
Caledon reached the prestigious tournament on the back of an Ontario Cup gold medal win in early September.
Post date: 2018-10-11 12:04:26
Post date GMT: 2018-10-11 16:04:26
Post modified date: 2018-10-11 12:04:26
Post modified date GMT: 2018-10-11 16:04:26
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