Soccer Colts earn single point in final game

Leon Hunte scored to secure a 1-1 tie for the Centennial Colts  against the visiting Fleming Knights on Wednesday in OCAA men’s soccer action.

That goal allowed the Colts to avoid a pointless season as the club finished 0-10-1.

Nhem Sang replied with a goal for Fleming.

“It was the second best game we played all year,” said Colts coach Julian Carr.

“We made a mistake in the second minute of the match. The truth of the matter is we had our opportunities to win and just didn’t put it away. Same story all year.”

Fleming (4-4-3) needed the win to move into playoff contention. Instead, they are one point behind Cambrian and must depend on a win against the East division-leading Algonquin Thunder on Friday.

Cambrian also has to lose to Durham on Saturday if the Knights have any chances of making the post season.

The visitors put a lot of pressure on the Colts from the get go, and they were rewarded early for their efforts.

Sang scored the opening goal two minutes into the game with a blast from just outside the box, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead.

Fleming continued to control the game and had a great chance to double their lead on 12 minutes, but Centennial keeper Phillip Liscio dove to his left and made a spectacular save to stop a Fleming header from crossing the goal line.

The Knights used their size to their advantage in Centennial’s box and the Colts had a tough time containing Fleming’s attackers.

In the 23rd minute, Knights midfielder Mark VanBeek connected on a corner kick, but the Colts were saved by the crossbar.

Hunte had two chances to tie the game nearing the end of the first half, but both of his shots went wide of the goal.

He took a page out of Sang’s book and scored two minutes into the second half, knotting the game at one following a corner kick.

“[The goal ] proved to these guys that we can come back,” Carr said.

“They started playing with the same intensity that they should have been playing with the whole game. When you play with that much tenacity, you will get a result and we got one tonight.”

The rest of the match was a physical affair and both teams had some choice words for their opponents on a number of occasions.

VanBeek and Centennial’s Mike DeSouza both received yellow cards.

“The guys worked hard and we deserved the point tonight,” said Colts captain Ciaran Thomspon. “If we had a little more luck on our side, I think we could have gotten the win.”

“We’re not the most skilful or technically sound team, but the one thing we have is heart. We definitely proved that today and I think Fleming was quite surprised.”

DeSouza had two great chances to put the Colts ahead in the closing minutes.

In the 89th minute, he shot the ball in the penalty area, but couldn’t get his right foot on it and sent it wide.

In injury time, he was on a breakaway, but couldn’t get full control of the ball and Trent keeper Kyle Kennedy got a hold of it before DeSouza could get a shot away.

Overall, Carr was impressed with the team’s effort and is looking forward to what the young group can do next season.

“For this group, it’s a building block,” he said. “We started the year with 10 rookies who haven’t played on a real level so they gave us what they had. In many cases, we’re building towards the future.”