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Brampton Adult Soccer : Division I Championship Match Report

April 12, 2005 -- Both contenders, Barcelona and Armada I, made their way to the Division I finals in dramatic fashion.

Barcelona found themselves in a position to end their season as champions after falling to fourth in the league table. However, with a stunning turn around of fortune that began with two consecutive victories over favourites No Name Boys, Barcelona cast aside their league table position and drove through the opposition, finding themselves in the Division I Finals.

Victories over the Avalanche (4-2) and a second win over No Name Boys (4-3) which nicely complicated their regular season closer (6-2), Barcelona proved themselves to be the right team, at the right time.

Armada I on the other hand had a bit of a stumble at season's end: Were it not for Barcelona's heroics, Armada I would not have finished in first. It was only through the No Name Boys ill fated loss to Barcelona at the end of the season that permitted Armada I the league title.

Armada I didn't get to the finals on mere luck or fortune - following Michael Burns, the team's energetic and lively leader, Armada were able to hold themselves in a favorable position for the entire season. Burns himself landed the Division I Top Scorers title with a 10 goal tally.

Prior to the finals, Armada I's only opponent was FC Porto United - a team that, with the addition of some last minute personnel, was able to overcome the veteran laden Super Strikers 2-1 in extra time! It has been widely contended that the Red Card earned by team captain, Michael Turcan was the breaking point. Turcan committed what appeared to be an intentional foul in Extra Time - which saw the Strikers roster depleted at a time where bodies were most needed. Porto seized the advantage and found themselves in the semifinals. A considerable feat considering they had anchored the 6th and final spot in the league table for the entire season.

Porto, again the underdog, once again pushed their opponent to the limits as they saw extra time approach. In the semifinal however, there was to be no extra time victory and as a result a penalty shoot out ensued. Displaying a series of heroics, that he would soon become known for, back-up keeper for Armada I, Sandro Martire won the match with a final save in what was a deadlocked shootout - already progressing to the 7th shooter.

The match, slated for a 10:00PM start on Monday, March 28th was one that already had a dramatic enough build up: Spectators were expecting much of the same.

The match started with both squads testing one another. Armada I applied pressure, always looking for a way to score - Barcelona, anchored in their stingy defense (led by brothers John & Marco Placentile) tried to produce goals off of the counter attack.

Barcelona's system was the first to succeed. After an odd man rush that resulted in a corner for Barcelona, Armada's offensive players were slow getting back to help - Tariq El-Farra capitalized on the space as he lunged to tap the crossing ball past keeper Martire.

At the start of the second half, a choppy game getting choppier, saw Armada pounce back. Top Scorer Michael Burns received a simple pass and converted it into a flurry quick moves, giving him enough space to place a drilled ball just inside the far post.

Almost immediately after the kick off, Armada were once again in the offensive zone, several quick passes allowed Mario DeRoia to launch a strike into the back of the net.

Armada I, never content to rest, continued to be the pressing, attacking side they've indicated they are the entire season. Once again though, Barcelona's intuitive counter attack was successful allowing them to level the score at 2-2. In yet again another odd man rush, Barcelona forced the Armada help defense to scramble, never quite settling on a man... ...this left Matt Anderson open to place a ball through a crowd, just inside the post.

The match remained 2-2 for it's duration, the only eventful moments thereafter were the yellow cards dolled out. Once extra time had come and gone, Armada found themselves in familiar territory - at the base of a penalty shoot out.

After the close-call in the semifinals against Porto, Armada came better prepared. Despite missing 5 matches due to injury, Rick Fonseca sat on the Armada I bench in full attire. Fonseca didn't play a single minute in the match itself and was dressed for the sole purpose of adding bodies to the lineup in the event of a penalty shoot out. The concept worked, as Fonseca used his canon like left foot to drive the ball low to the keepers right. In light of a recent slew of injuries (Tom Covello, John Grajcar and starting keeper Frank Fiore) Armada had no choice to rely on the likes of Fonseca and George Araya (on loan from Div. II side Unknown Strikers).

Armada's back up keeper, Sandro Martire was once again confident in net, producing two saves in the course of the shoot out earning him Man of the Match honours! Kevin Sousa of Armada was the only one not to hit the target as he misjudged the ball and laced his shot far off into the rafters. Michael Burns once again displayed his leadership skills as he anchored the 5 shooters for Armada with a stunning penalty take. His goal was the final effort, the official signaled that the match was over and Armada I were crowned as the Champions.

The end result was sweet - Armada's Captain/Manager, Sandro Ribic, was finally able to breath a sigh of relief as his wait was over. Having been the the BAS finals on several separate occasions, it's about time he's allowed to wear the 1st Place medal around his neck.

The Champion's opponents this session, No Name Boys, Barcelona or even the last second upstart Porto, all offered up a clear indication of the quality of the league and strength of it's competition.

Brampton Adult Soccer
Distinguish yourself as a soccer player! EduKick Soccer Schools Schools & Camps...call us toll-free today to discuss at 1-866-338-5425!
 wishes to extend congratulations to the Div. I Champions and it's sincerest gratitude to all the participating teams for providing us all with a fantastic and competitive season of soccer
Distinguish yourself as a soccer player! EduKick Soccer Schools Schools & Camps...call us toll-free today to discuss at 1-866-338-5425!
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