September 6, 2004 CPSL Open Canada Cup final Windsor Border Stars vs Ottawa St Anthony Italia (from CPSL website)
BORDER STARS TRIUMPH IN OPEN CANADA CUP
A switch in goalkeepers near the end of the game paid off for Windsor Border Stars as the Canadian Professional Soccer League team defeated Ottawa St. Anthony Italia on penalty kicks following a 1-1 tie after regulation 90 minutes and 30 minutes of overtime to win the Open Canada Cup at Cove Road, London Labour Day.
Border Stars’ coach Pat Hilton substituted regular goalkeeper Alan Placek with just two minutes to go in the overtime period, bringing in former University of Detroit ‘keeper Anthony Santilli to face the penalty kicks. Santilli saved two of four fired at him by Ottawa Italia , while Ottawa’s Angus Wong conceded all four for a 4-2 score following the 1-1 tie.
Border Stars, in their inaugural year of the CPSL, were stretched in the early going to cope with the fast moving Ottawa team, a member of the Ottawa Carleton Soccer League, which took the lead on a goal at the 12th minute mark by forward Edgar Sogio. Border Stars tied the game 1-1 on a strike by midfielder Tati Errelade at 29 minutes and the score held up to the penalty kicks.
Border Stars’ forward Aaron Byrd missed a penalty kick just six minutes into the game when he was brought down just outside the penalty box, but Ottawa Italia had several misses when Sogio struck the crossbar at 81 minutes and midfielder Urbaine Some caught the post from a free kick from 20 yards.
There were more close calls when Ottawa forward Johnny Schieda also hit the Windsor team’s woodwork eight minutes into the overtime period.
Border Stars’coach Pat Hilton admitted the game could have gone either way. “They surprised us, they are young, fit and fast and for a while we had trouble with their lively attacking play,” he said after the game. “We had a little luck too, when those shots caught the outside. But my side fought every step of the way, and came through.”
Asked about the surprising goalkeeper switch, Hilton explained Placek had played brilliantly, but was carrying a knee injury and he thought the fit Anthony Santilli would stand a better chance of stopping the spot kicks.
Windsor Border Stars reached the Open Canada Cup Final following a 1-0 win over St. Catharines Wolves, a 5-4 defeat of London City and a 5-1 semi-final victory over Capital City Ambassadors of Ottawa.
Ottawa Italia gained a berth in the final after edging London Portuguese 3-2, a 3-2 win over Toronto Supra, a 6-2 defeat of North York Astros and a 3-1 semi-final victory over Metro Lions.
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