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Guelph United lift trophy

Guelph United win Men's U21 Reserve Division

By Lucas Costa, 08/05/23, 2:30AM EDT


Osayuki Ibie and Jake Findlay star for Guelph who won 1-0 in the trophy final.

Guelph United lift trophy

Guelph United lifted the Men’s U21 Reserve Division trophy as Osayuki Ibie’s first-half strike survived pressure from Woodbridge Strikers and secured a 1-0 win.

After a back and forth opening to the game where each team had a fair share of the possession, Guelph broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute with the forward’s sixth goal of the campaign. It all began from the backline as they swiftly broke through the pressure from Woodbridge’s high press, and Jordan Rioux received the ball after two quick passes through the midfield, before picking out a running Ibie to give the South West Division champions the lead.

Three minutes later, Ibie almost scored a second as he hammered the ball off the crossbar, but the pendulum then began to swing in Woodbridge’s favour in the latter stages of the opening half. 

The 2023 Central Division champions, who led the league in points in the regular season with 35, started generating high-quality scoring chances and threatened the Guelph defence. In added time of the first half, Adrian Colangelo found himself a glorious opportunity from inside the box but his header sailed over the crossbar, and Guelph headed into the break with a slim lead.

The second half continued as the first half had ended, and the strong contingent of Woodbridge supporters were loud and proud, cheering and honking their horns, hoping for a comeback at the Ontario Soccer Stadium.

At the onset of the second half, the Woodbridge Strikers countered on a three-on-one breakaway, resulting in an appeal for a penalty kick, but no call was given.

In the 61st minute, Woodbridge thought that they got on the board from a free kick. Aidan Hugo delivered the set-piece into the Guelph goalkeeper Jake Findlay, but the ball bounced onto the foot of Ethan Agyare Danso, who scored from point-blank range. However, the linesman flag went up and offside ruled out the goal.

That did not ruin the Woodbridge's spirit as they continued with quality attempts on goal throughout the second half. With eight minutes of additional time added to the end of the match, Woodbridge gave everything they had in hopes of sending the game into penalties.

Findlay had different ideas, protecting the Guelph net as he came up with not one, but two huge saves in the final stages of the match. Colangelo received the through ball in space, and on first touch, forced a diving save out of the Guelph goalkeeper who then was on on hand to tip a late free-kick over the bar.

In the end, Guelph United hung on for a 1-0 victory earning them the title of League1 Ontario Men’s U21 Reserve Division champions.

Next up for each of these clubs is the home stretch of the Men’s Premier Division season as the playoff push continues.