Surrey United falls short of rare three-peat

BURNABY – Surrey United Firefighters have missed the chance to become three-peat Men’s Provincial A Champions after losing 1-0 to Croatia FC in the final on Saturday (May 10).

Had they won the game, United would’ve become the first team in 32 years to win the cup three consecutive years.

Rob Reed, Surrey’s head coach, said he is proud of his squad despite not being able to win the cup again.

“Honestly, it’s disappointing. When you get to this stage you want to complete the job and get another one,” Reed said. “I thought we played well for 90 minutes. We just couldn’t find a way to score. That was the issue.

“They managed to score one on us, and you have to tip your hat to them for holding that one goal the entire game,” he said.

Surrey started the game on the front foot. After five minutes, they failed to convert on a turnover with a shot wide to the keeper’s right post.

Surrey maintained the pressure, and 10 minutes later had an opportunity to score from a corner kick, but the resulting header flew wide of goal.

Croatia showed a first glimpse of life on a counter attack at 18 minutes, but the striker’s shot grazed past the post.

However, nine minutes later, Croatia tapped the ball into the goal from close range after Surrey turned the ball over in their third of the field.

In the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Croatia remained in control of the match not allowing Surrey to put them under pressure.

At the hour mark, Croatia missed a chance to double its lead after the Surrey goalkeeper stopped a shot from point-blank.

Eleven minutes later, Surrey started to put Croatia under real pressure with a string of set pieces and shots, but none of them put the Croatia keeper under any real pressure.

Croatia had one more chance to kill off the game on a breakaway counter attack in the final 10 minutes, but the Surrey goalkeeper sprawled across and knocked the ball loose to kill the threat.

Surrey threw everything except the kitchen sink in the dying minutes, but they couldn’t break down Croatia’s defense.

Even though the United couldn’t win the last match of their season, Reed is happy with how the season went.

“It was a great year, it just didn’t end on the perfect note,” Reed said. “I’m extremely proud of the players. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”