Soccer suffers loss in penalty kicks

The Concordia men’s soccer team’s season came to a sudden halt as they were upset by the Universite de Quebec a Montreal in the semi-finals of the QSSF playoffs last Friday.
The undefeated Stingers had shutout Les Citadins in their two previous regular season games, but the visiting team came out with an aggressive defence that stifled the talented Concordia attackers all afternoon.
An early goal put UQAM up 1-0 in the first half following a defensive miscue by Concordia, and the Stingers scrambled to tie the score as the first half came to an end.
At times, UQAM seemed to have an extra defender on the field, often beating Concordia to the ball in their offensive zone.
Great chances before halftime by strikers Ammar Badawieh and Steven Craig were unsuccessful as the Stingers went into the half down by one goal.
The second half began with an onslaught of offence from Concordia, with
midfielders Mehdi Mourali, J-P Julien and Stefan Takac making plays and
spearheading the attack.
Following a scramble in the UQAM goalmouth in the 70th minute, Takac grabbed a rebound and scored on a strike that found the top right corner of the net to tie the score with 20 minutes left in regulation time.
Badawieh went down with a hamstring injury at the end of the half, but would later return.
Remarkable defensive efforts by Frank Pons, Mario Magriplis and Kevin Fiset kept the score tied until the end of regulation.
The game went into two sudden-death overtime periods that were nothing short of eventful.
Stinger striker Ameen Brereton collided with Citadin goalkeeper Marc-Andre Maillet early in the first half of overtime. Maillet was injured on the play and was subbed by back-up Pascal Trudel.
Trudel proved to be the game’s hero as he saved shots from Badawieh and Fabian Thomas that could have won the game for the Stingers.
The tension mounted as the game went to penalty kicks and the goalies took center stage.
Concordia goalkeeper Richard Green saved two of the five UQAM penalties shot at him, and because only Takac and Pons could convert their kicks for the Stingers, Les Citadins celebrated their one-goal victory over the league champions.
It was a bitter end for the previously unbeaten Stingers and their coach,
Vladimir Pavlicik. “There is no tomorrow on penalty shots,” he said shortly after the game. “We didn’t deliver. I’m very pleased with the boys, I’m proud of them.”
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