CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Humber men's soccer is heading to its fifth national final since 2012, beating NAIT on penalty kicks (5-4) after a 3-3 draw in regulation.
In what may go down in history as one of the most thrilling semifinals in CCAA history, the Hawks opened the scoring in the seventh minute, when all-star Federico Leal kicked a strike from outside the 18-yard box for his second tally of the tournament. Humber added to its lead in the 20th minute when Cody Green made a beautiful cross that Nicholas Machado was able to head home.
Minutes later, the Hawks were handed a major blow when a NAIT scoring attempt hit the hand of defender Michael Fayehun on the goal line. Fayehun was issued a straight red card and sent off the field, and the Ooks were able to score on the accompanying penalty kick.
Despite playing a man down, Humber continued to press, looking for an insurance goal. After the break, the Hawks had numerous chances but were unable to beat NAIT keeper Chris Ezoua.
With time running out, NAIT was able to tie the match in the 83rd minute, scoring on a free kick that found the top left corner of the net.
Playing a man down for almost 66 minutes of game time, a tired Humber squad looked to kill the clock and play for penalty kicks. In the final minute of regulation, a NAIT strike went through two Humber defenders, striking Jordan Piccinin and the Hawks were called for their second handball of the match. NAIT converted on the penalty kick, giving the Ooks their first lead of the match.
Unphased by the goal, Humber pressed in injury time, needing a goal to keep its championship aspirations alive. A long throw-in from Cody Green found the head of Stavros Badunas, who banged home the equalizer as time expired.
In penalty kicks, keeper Karman Singh made an incredible diving save in the first round, which was all Humber needed after all five kickers for the Hawks scored. Kicking for Humber was: Jordan Piccinin, Federico Leal, Jaineil Hoilett, Luca Baldassarre, and Cody Green.
Nicholas Machado was named the player of the game for Humber.
- Humber improves to 8-3 all-time in the CCAA semifinal round.
- The Hawks extend their CCAA win streak to 15 consecutive matches.
- Humber improves to 4-3 all-time in penalty kicks at the national tournament.
- The Hawks now have a chance to become the all-time winningest program in CCAA history, breaking a tie with a Capilano.
Humber will face Ahuntsic (9-0-1, 1st RSEQ) in the finals Nov. 10. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. The Hawks are 6-1 all-time in the CCAA Championship Match.
- Ahuntsic is returning to the finals for the first time since 1997 and is 0-3 all-time in the finals.
- In the final rankings of the season, the Indiens were ranked No. 3 in the CCAA.
- Ahuntsic is led by RSEQ Player of the Year, Yvenson Andre.
- Humber and Ahuntsic have never met in the CCAA tournament.
- In August, these two teams met in a friendly in Montreal. Trailing by two after 45 minutes of play, Luca Baldassarre recorded three unanswered tallies to give Humber the 3-2 win.