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Shootout win leads to Cup final
Keeper Jared Perras was the star of the day as the Riptide U14 boys soccer team won on penalty kicks to advance to the Coastal Cup final.
The combined Campbell River-Comox Valley team hosted Richmond United last Sunday in Comox, for the Cup semi-final.
The first half started with a bang, with Richmond testing the Riptide defence and capitalizing for a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the match.
But the Riptide kept their heads in the game and evened things up 10 minutes later. Riley Fussell carried the ball smartly through midfield and was heading to the net when the Richmond defender panicked and took him down in the penalty area.
That allowed Charlie Purcell to step up to the penalty spot and he smoothly tied the game. Both teams played with intensity, with goal-to-goal action for the remainder of the regulation 70 minutes, but the score remained 1-1.
The non-stop action continued in the two 10-minute overtime halves. With just minutes remaining, United got their chance for the clincher when Perras bolted out of the goal to play the ball, but was beaten by a Richmond forward.
The striker got his shot on net, but Riptide centre defender Zeb Savoie-Velos was Johnny-on-the-spot as he cleared the ball from goalmouth in the nick of time.
With the score still tied, Richmond won the coin flip to start the round of five penalty kicks and Perras was equal to the task. The Riptide keeper stopped all five United penalty kicks while his team-mates Charlie Purcell, Tanner Kempe, Nicholas Mitchell and Riley Fussell all capitalized on theirs to make the final 2-1.
Coach Bruce Mitchell is now prepping his squad for the Coastal Cup to be played April 27 in the Lower Mainland.