OVERTIME VICTORY PUTS VORKUTA IN CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
A thumping header winning goal off a free kick with lots of pace following 107 minutes of attractive semifinal soccer moved FC Vorkuta to the CSL Championship Final by a 2-1 victory at Centennial Stadium Saturday.
The goal, by the prolific scoring midfielder Serhii Melnyk, assured Vorkuta of a place in the final following three years highlighted by league or championship successes since entering the Canadian Soccer League First Division in 2017.
But Vorkuta was not assured of yet another successful season in the semifinal against the improving Serbian White Eagles, especially while the outcome was in doubt following a 1-0 first half lead stretching well into the second half. A strike by defender Branislav Vukomanovic put the White Eagles ahead with a free kick that penetrated the wall at the 37th minute mark. While Vorkuta rallied time and again for an equalizer, the Serbian White Eagles’ defence held firm until the 70th minute when Vorkuta forward Mykola Temniuk collected a long ball to beat goalkeeper Christian Maraldo with a low drive for a 1-1 tie that held to the end of regular time and setting up 30 minutes of overtime.
The Melnyk winning goal gives the north Toronto side the opportunity to repeat its post season 2018 championship victory and add to the 2017 and 2019 First Division league titles and similar impressive achievements with a reserve team in the CSL Second Division.
“It was a very good game, they played well but we just didn’t give up. We look forward to taking on Scarborough in the final,” said Vorkuta GM Samad Kadirov following the final whistle.
FC Vorkuta will meet current champions Scarborough SC in the post regular season 2020 CSL Championship Final at Centennial Stadium on Saturday, October 17 at 2 pm, a game that wraps up the brief First Division regular season of five teams with Scarborough finishing on top.