CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The NAIT Ooks men's soccer team fell in penalty kicks to the Humber Hawks in a thrilling semi-final match at the CCAA Men's Soccer Championship Thursday afternoon.
The Humber Hawks scored first when Frederico Leal found the back of the net with a strong strike from outside the box. Nicholas Machado added to the Hawks lead when Nicholas Machado headed in Cody Green's cross in the 20th minute, putting Humber up 2-0.
Chaos would commence in the 23rd minute when Michael Fayehun of the Hawks was called for a handball on his goal-line resulting in a red card and a penalty kick for the Ooks. Kick taker Matt McLean would make no mistake labeling the shot to the bottom left corner of the net, cutting Humber's lead to one.
In the 48th minute, the momentum would shift when Ooks' keeper Chris Ezoua made a miraculous diving save on a cross from the Hawks. From there it would be NAIT on the attack and Humber trying to protect their one-goal lead while playing a man short. In the 83rd minute, the Ooks were finally able to crack the Hawks conservative defense, when Cristian Lima bent a free kick into the top corner of the net tieing the game at two.
In the 89th minute, chaos would strike again when Humber would be called for another handball inside the box, resulting in another penalty kick. Matt McLean would capitalize for the second time putting the Ooks up 3-2. The Hawks then scored in the 90th minute to tie the game again, sending the game to penalty kicks. In PK's, it was the Humber Hawks who would prevail scoring on all five of their shots claiming what was surely the most exciting match of the tournament.
"I'm proud of the boys for battling back. It was unfortunate we had a brief mental lapse on defense which they capitalized on to tie it, but that's soccer. Credit to Humber, they played well," said Ooks head coach Charles O'Toole after the game.
The NAIT Ooks will now face the Capilano Blues in the bronze semi-final tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 PM AST.