(SYDNEY, NS) The UNB Reds scored a dramatic 2-1 come-from-behind win, in overtime, over the St FX X-Men, in the Subway Atlantic University Sport men’s soccer semi-finals on Friday.
AUS Rookie of the Year Tristan Nkoghe (Sherbrooke, QC) scored on a free kick in the 89th minute to lift UNB into a 1-1 tie with the X-Men.
Then, in the first minute of the first 15-minute overtime period, Grant Takacs (Woodstock, ON) headed home a rebound off a corner kick to put UNB in front.
The drama continued late in the extra time when St FX was awarded a penalty kick with less than five minutes to play.
2017 U SPORTS Player of the Year Dan Hayfield (Exeter, UK) stepped to the spot, but Reds keeper Evan Barker (Winnipeg, MB) made the save to preserve UNB’s lead and seal the win.
The first half, played In heavy rain, saw UNB controlling a lot of the play.
However, it was X that scored in the 8th minute.
Josh Reed (Bath, UK) headed in a Hayfield pass to give the No. 2 seeded X-Men the early lead.
UNB out-shot the X-Men 5-1 in the first half, but it was X leading as the teams went to the locker rooms.
The second half was also played in rough weather, and saw some chippy play.
Multiple yellow cards were issued.
After Nkoghe’s and Takacs’ goals, the X-Men pushed hard for an equalizer, leading to Hayfield’s penalty attempt.
Barker stopped 7 of 8 shots, including the penalty, for the victory.
Seamus MacDonald (Antigonish, NS) made 8 of 10 saves in a losing cause.
With the win, the Reds now face the No. 1 seed, host and defending AUS and national champion Cape Breton Capers in Sunday’s AUS final.
It’s a re-match of the 2017 conference championship game, and is scheduled to start at 4:00pm.
RECAP BY: CBU and UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Vaughan Merchant/for CBU Athletics