Two CPSL pro teams and two amateur teams from Ottawa won their Open Canada Cup quarter-final games during the Civic Holiday weekend.
Windsor Border Stars and Metro Lions from the Canadian Professional Soccer League, Ottawa St. Anthony Italia and Capital City Ambassadors all scored wins in regular time to take a step further in pursuit of the Open Canada Cup and a $10,000 cash prize.
In games played Sunday, Capital City Ambassadors of Ottawa defeated GS United, an amateur team in Toronto by a 2-1 score, and Metro Lions of the CPSL edged AEK London, also 2-1.
On Saturday, Ottawa St.Anthony Italia of the Ottawa Carleton Soccer League upset North York Astros 6-2 at Centennial Stadium, Kitchener and on Friday night, Border Stars edged London City 5-4 at Cove Road in London.
The final weekend of Open Canada Cup action will be played during the Labour Day weekend, details of which will be announced by the CPSL on Tuesday.
Justin Dasah was the hero for Capital City Ambassadors on Sunday, scoring both goals at 8 minutes and the winner just four minutes from time in the first of two games on Sunday. Peter Firebrace tied the score for GS United at 43 minutes, so the 1-1 tie held up for most of the second half until Dasah struck his late decider.
In the second game at Cove Road on Sunday, Hayden Fitzwilliams opened the scoring at the 23rd minute and added a second two minutes later for a 2-0 Lions lead. AEK London fought back in the second half and were rewarded when Martin Painter found the net at 85 minutes, but the goal was not enough and Metro Lions advanced, 2-1.
Astros were the second CPSL team to be eliminated from the Open Canada Cup by a capital city team, Italia having defeated Toronto Supra in Round Two on July 4. The elimination of Supra followed a victory by Italia over London Portuguese in the Preliminary Round 24 hours earlier, both wins by a 3-2 Golden Goal in overtime.
But overtime was not necessary in defeating the Astros who were overwhelmed in the first 45 minutes for a 4-1 score at half-time.
It was a goal-fest of a cup-tie at Cove Road in London where no less than nine goals were scored and Windsor Border Stars prevailed in the end, edging a courageous 10-men London City by a 5-4 score in an exciting Open Canada Cup third round game Friday night.
Abraham Osman scored twice for Ottawa St. Anthony Italia in the 6-2 win over North York Astros, with Richard Furano and Huffman Tabe scoring singles. The impressive Alex Braletic, at 17 one of the youngest players in the CPSL scored both Astros'goals, his third in the Open Canada Cup.
London City played most of the game with 10 men on Friday night, following the ejection at the 13th minute mark of rookie Adam St. Laurent, brought into the game to replace defender Marco Peeters who suffered a fractured jaw in the game against North York Astros on Tuesday.
It was a see-saw struggle for both sides with a 2-1 score for Border Stars at half-time, and the Windsor-based team maintained a one-goal lead as the goals were scored, through to the 5-4 final result.
Aaron Byrd scored two for Border Stars, with singles coming from Back Josh, Tati Errelade, his sixth of the season, and Steve Wonsch, while London City goals came from Eris Jafaj, Kadian Lecky, Erik Elmauer and Paul Munster. Munster now leads the goalscoring title race with 10 for the season.
The strength of the amateur teams has come as no surprise to the CPSL and that three CPSL teams have fallen to amateur teams is considered to be positive for the long-term. �We have observed the increasing strength of senior amateur soccer and it was our hope some of the better teams would accept our invitation to take part. That has happened�they are winning and that�s great for our plans to expand the Open Canada Cup across the country,� said CPSL president Vincent Ursini.
Ottawa St. Anthony Italia defeated the CPSL�s Toronto Supra, 3-2 on July 4, GS United of Toronto eliminated Vaughan Shooters in a penalty kick win on July 22 and AEK London knocked out Durham Storm 2-0 on July 1. The fourth amateur team in the quarter-finals, Capital City Ambassadors of Ottawa, eliminated another amateur team, 777 S.C. of Toronto on July 3.
London City advanced on the strength of their 1-0 win over Hamilton Thunder on July 2, Border Stars knocked out St. Catharines Wolves on July 1, the Astros defeated Brampton Hitmen 2-1 on July 2 and Metro Lions edged past amateur team Real Vaughan 2-1 on July 4.
The semi-finals are scheduled for the Labour Day weekend, September 3 to 5 and the Open Canada Cup Final will be played on Labour Day, Monday, September 6. The winner will receive the trophy and a $10,000 prize.
Open Canada Cup results Civic Holiday weekend :
Friday, July 30, Windsor Border Stars 5, London City 4
Saturday, July 31, Ottawa St. Anthony Italia 6 North York Astros 2
Sunday, August 1, Capital City Ambassadors of Ottawa 2, G.S. United of Toronto 1
Sunday, August 1, Metro Lions 2, AK London 1