Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

ONE-FOOT HIGH KICK – Air North’s Justin Carre kicks the ball during a round-robin game against Driving Force at the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse Saturday while Joel Odulio, left, and Jan van der Hoorn look on. Air North won to advance to the final.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

OUCH! – Driving Force’s Keith Maguire uses his body to block the ball during their round-robin game against Air North.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

STELLAR SAVE – Air North keeper Sean Macdonald makes a save against Driving Force. Micheal Marceau is on the right.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

BATTLING HARD – Driving Force’s captain Keith Welch, left, keeper James Semaschuk, middle and Keith Maguire attempt to keep Pepsi’s Franklin Fru (on the pitch) from scoring during their round robin game.

Pepsi, Air North advance in Over-35 Men’s soccer semifinals

The Over-35 Men’s soccer league playoffs resumed last Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.

By Morris Prokop on March 28, 2024

The Over-35 Men’s soccer league playoffs resumed last Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.

Since KBS forfeited their game against Air North Thursday, it was decided to do a round-robin between Pepsi, Driving Force and Air North. The games consisted of two 12-minute halves. The top two teams would meet in the finals the following week.

The first game featured Pepsi (Red) vs. Driving Force (White).

Pepsi had a 1-0 lead after the first half, compliments of Frankin Fru.

Driving Force failed to equalize in the second half, leaving the score 1-0 Pepsi at full time.

The second game saw Pepsi playing back-to-back, this time against Air North (Blue).

Sean Fearon opened the scoring for Pepsi a few minutes into the game.

Justin Carre pulled Air North level 1-1 with just over two minutes left in the half.

Adriano Lamberti pushed Air North ahead 2-1.

The half ended with Air North up 2-1.

Adiwori Adejobi tied it up for Pepsi in stoppage time.

Since regulation solved nothing, the teams played a “golden goal” (sudden death) five-minute overtime.

Overtime also failed to settle the issue, necessitating a shootout.

The shooters for Pepsi were Fru, skipper John Hawkins and Adil Khalik.

Captain Iain Breckenridge, Jan van der Hoorn and keeper Sean Macdonald were the lucky three for Air North.

Pepsi pulled it out and the end of the shootout as Macdonald failed to equalize for the Blue boys.

Pepsi skipper Hawkins said it was “exciting. That was a really tight game.

I can’t believe we went all the way to the shootout.

“It was nice. We pushed at the end and got kind of a lucky goal right at the end but it was great. It was a lot of fun.”

Hawkins said he had a good feeling about having keeper Stu Knaack in net for his squad.

“That was great. He had a good game.”

The win propelled Pepsi into the final this Saturday at CGC.

Hawkins added, “I’m excited for next week.”

Game three was Driving Force up against Air North, with the other berth in the final on the line.

The score was nil-nil at the end of the first half.

Keith Maguire broke the ice for Driving Force with just over five minutes left in the second half.

However, Breckenridge scored on his second penalty kick of the day to pull Air North even, 1-1.

Joel Odulio scored the go-ahead goal for the Blue squad on a rebound with about 90 seconds left in the second half, putting Driving Force up against it. They failed to equalize, making the final 2-1 Air North.

Air North skipper Breckenridge said “It was a great game. It’s been a great season for all. Very competitive; all the teams are.

“Regarding the games there, we’ve persevered and we’ve proved that we’ve got better resilience. And we’ll look forward to one final game next week.

“The key for us is just constantly working from the start of the game to the end of the game. And I suppose it proved there. The Whites (Driving Force) worked just as hard. The Reds (Pepsi) worked just as hard. All around, it’s been a great day of football.”

A humble Breckenridge was surprised that he managed to make two penalty kicks on the day.

“As the guys up there would tell you, they were probably having a bit of a chuckle thinking ‘Oh, no, Iain’s taking another penalty.’ Because I probably missed a couple in my time.”

Breckenridge said making two penalty kicks in one day was pretty rare for him.

“I’ll take it.”

When asked what he was thinking before the second one, he replied, “I try not to let anything go through my mind at all. I just get the ball, put it in the spot, make my mind up where I’m gonna head it and try not to look at the goalie, because they’re often moving. And then just put my foot through it.”

Breckenridge added despite Driving Force pressing the issue, “We hung on, persevered, and next week we’ve got one more game against a tough Red team.”

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