Surrey United men keep three-peat hopes alive with PK win

SURREY — Surrey United moved one step closer to doing something no B.C. men’s soccer team has accomplished in more than 30 years — three-peating as Provincial Cup champs.

The last team to turn the trick was Victoria West between 1979 and 1982, but Surrey can join them with a win over Croatia in the 2014 cup final on Saturday (May 10) in Burnaby.

“Three years in a row would be amazing,” said Surrey United executive director Martin Foden. “We’ve had a lot of injuries throughout the year and we’ve done ever so well with the resources we have.

“We have never really recovered from all the injuries going back as far as nationals at the beginning of October. That hasn’t been as excuse and we’ve been in contention throughout the year, even challenging for first place.”

Surrey advanced to the championship final with a ho-hum 1-0 win on penalty kicks over the Metro Ford Wolves in Coquitlam Saturday.

Neither team could break through their opposing defences during regulation time, but play opened up more in the extra sessions. In the first overtime period, Surrey carried the play more and had a great chance to take the lead, but Sean Einarsson’s header missed the mark.

The tables were turned in the second overtime as the Wolves stormed back. However the game remained scoreless thanks to an outstanding close-range save by Surrey goalkeeper Paul Shepherd.

The match was finally settled on penalty kicks. Surrey led off and connected on all five of their chances. Coquitlam answered by scoring on their first three chances, all to Shepherd’s right. The fourth attempt to same place was snuffed out by a diving save from the veteran keeper, setting the stage for Surrey’s game-clinching fifth attempt.

“Both teams had their chances in regulation,” Foden said. “It was the kind of game where both teams’ defences were dominant and both teams were playing the same system so it was a bit of a chess match with most of the play in the midfield. In the end it came down to spot shots and we were fortunate to get the win.”

In the other semifinal in Vancouver, Croatia scored on a late penalty kick in regulation to beat Inter 1-0 and secure a spot in the cup final.

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