OAKVILLE, ON — The Oakville Blue Devils won their second League1 Ontario championship after beating the Woodbridge Strikers 4-3 on penalty kicks at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughn.
Marcos Nunos opened the scoring in the 11th minute for Woodbridge after capitalizing on a miscue. Despite the relentless pressure from the Blue Devils, the lead held up going into the half.
In the 66th minute, a header from former national team player, Stephen Ademolu, sprung Filipe Vilela down the side, while Brandon Duarte raced in behind the Woodbridge backline to the far post to convert Vilela’s cross and tie the game.
The score held up until the final whistle, resulting in the game being decided by penalty shootout. Woodbridge goalkeeper Quillan Roberts gave his team the advantage after saving Victor Gallo’s attempt with Oakville’s second shot, causing the Blue Devils to fall behind. They pulled even when Woodbridge’s Michael Fayehun sailed his shot over the bar allowing Ademolu to tie things up in the fourth round.
Blue Devils goalkeeper Matt George dove right to deny the shot from Joshua Paredes-Procter, giving Oakville’s Braden Culver the chance at a winner. The hard, low, shot to the bottom right corner from Culver sealed the Blue Devils fate as the 2017 League1 Champions.
The victory earns the Blue Devils a spot in next year’s Voyageurs Cup-the Canadian club Championship. If they are to advance far enough, Oakville could potentially meet one of Canada’s three MLS teams- Toronto FC, Montreal Impact or the Vancouver Whitecaps.
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