The Thompson Okanagan Football Club U18 boys brought home gold from the Addidas/Whitecaps Champions Cup Invitational Showcase Tournament.
TOFC knocked off Fusion FC on 5-3 penalty kicks in Sunday’s final in Vancouver after the teams played to a 3-3 draw in regulation.
After 15 minutes Andrew Stevenson latched onto a through ball and showed great strength to hold off both centre backs and put TOFC 1-0 ahead. Fusion came back strongly, however, and tied the game 1-1. Jacob Rivet in goal given no chance with a close range header.
Five minutes before half time Andrew Stevenson scored his second to put TOFC 2-1 up, another great effort from the edge of the box this time. The score remained at 2-1 at half time. The game was end to end with Fusion pressing hard, but Okanagan dangerous on the counter attack. Both teams missed great chances, but it was Fusion who scored next to tie the game up at 2-2. A very exciting game came to a climax with five minutes remaining as TOFC were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Austin Schneebeli stepped up and rammed the ball into the top corner. Fusion fought hard in the dying minutes though, and were rewarded with a last gasp equalizer to tie the game up for a third time. The game was a great spectacle for the large number of spectators there, and the penalty shootout was also very exciting to watch. Both teams calmly netted their first three spot kicks: Robin Whittaker, Andrew Stevenson and Cormac Southam (Nelson) for TOFC. Dan Thornton (Penticton) increased the pressure on Fusion by slotting a fourth. Then goalkeeper Jake Bainas (Kamloops) became a hero when he dove full stretch to save a well taken penalty.
This meant that Brenden Melin had a shot for the cup, and he duly delivered, much to the excitement of all the TOFC players, coaches and parents.
TOFC opened the tourney with a 3-0 win over Surrey, then followed up with a 5-0 victory over South Fraser.