Play. Inspire. Unite.
Ontario Soccer’s Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), presented by Toronto FC, officially wrapped up its sixth season over the weekend, as the OPDL Charity Shield match-ups took place at the Ontario Soccer Centre.
The top teams from the boys and girls U-14, U-15 and U-17 divisions competed in one game finals, in front of a packed house at the venue in Vaughan.
The U-14 Boys OPDL Charity Shield featured Richmond Hill SC taking on the Woodbridge Strikers.
While the OPDL Charity Shield is an integral opportunity to showcase the immense talent found within the OPDL before fellow OPDL members, scouts and families, the Charity Shield also raises money for Ontario charities.
Every dollar accumulated through the $5 admission rate is donated to Ontario charities, as chosen by the winning teams in each match.
Both Richmond Hill and Woodbridge were playing for the Sick Kids Foundation.
Tremaine Henry got things going for Woodbridge in the 19th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area and gave his side a 1-0 lead.
Richmond Hill would answer back 10 minutes later when Matthew Smith did good work to opened up the space in the midfield and sent Adriano Colangelo in on net. Colangelo lashed his shot at the net and leveled the score at 1-1.
The two sides would trade chances before the half but neither could find a way through.
It was more of the same in the second half, with lots of good chances but a lack of finishing in the final third.
Henry would give his Woodbridge side a lead with 7 minutes remaining when, in a play very similar to his first goal, he found the ball at his feet in the penalty area and he made no mistake in giving his side a 2-1 lead.
With three minutes remaining, Woodbridge drew a penalty and on the corresponding take Ethan Agyare Danson gave his side the insurance marker they needed and a 3-1 lead.
Richmond Hill refused to lay down however and Gianfranco Leone brought his side to within one with a brilliant strike from the edge of the box in extra time.
That would be as close as they would get though as Woodbridge closed up shop defensively and won the U-14 Boys OPDL Charity Shield.
Visit the Ontario Soccer Facebook page for all the photos from the final