See shoot-out & coaches’ comments below
VAUGHAN, ON — Both teams came out of their warm-ups with their game faces on, the Eagles ready to soar to victory and the Gunners ready to shoot them down.
The two highly respected coaches, Tom Croft and Joseph Komlodi, had primed their charges for a game to remember.
Less than 2 minutes into the game the Gunners had created their first chance to score, but it was denied by the Eagles keeper.
In the face of Ajax pressure, Erin mills was forced to keep 10 players behind the ball.
Fifteen minutes into the game, the anticipated tactical battle is taking shape with Erin Mills using Ryan Garnett in the space between the Ajax central defenders and their midfield, thus giving Erin Mills a good attacking out and setting up for a quick counter-attack.
At 37 minutes, Erin Mills won their first corner-kick and came closest to scoring with a header blocked and the second touch again blocked.
The game settled back into a familiar pattern with Ajax pressing and creating a great chance in the 43rd minute which is well save by the Erin Mills keeper, giving Ajax another corner.
The game is well into double figures for corners, but without any goals as the game goes into half-time with a scoreless tie.
After continued pressure by Ajax in the second half, the Eagles catch the Gunners on the counter-attack and #4 David Serafini keeps his composure and finds the back of the net from 18 yards, slotting it by the advancing goalie to put Erin Mills on the scoreboard 1-0.
The Gunners replied in the 35th minute as #16 Sebastian Arangio scored a great goal after a fist-class save by the Eagles keeper. Arangio is first to pounce on the loose ball inside the 6-yard box and the game is tied 1-1.
Despite a valiant end-to-end see-saw battle, neither team was able to improve its tally and, at the final whistle, the game went into kicks from the penalty mark.
After considerable one-upmanship and crowd-pleasing entertainment on the part of both goal-keepers on the goal-line, Erin Mills Eagles came through with a 5-4 advantage in penalty kicks and were crowned Ontario Cup Champions.
Reported by Barry Brown / OSA
Photo & Video by Wolf Ruck / OSA
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