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-17 Boys OPDL Charity Shield featured Richmond Hill SC taking on North Toronto SC.
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.
Richmond Hill was playing for Sick Kids Foundation while North Toronto was playing for Kids Help Phone.
Both sides tested one another early with opportunities in on net. Robert Ursu, in net for Richmond Hill and Patricio Hempelmann, goalie for NTSC, were equal to the task and kept things knotted at 0-0 through the first 20 minutes.
Richmond Hill would find a breakthrough in the 30th minute by a tremendous individual effort by Jamal Essibrah’s. His first shot was stopped but on the rebound Essibrah rose to the occasion and half volleyed it into the back of the net for the game’s first goal.
North Toronto would respond five minutes later when De’kwon Barrow pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area and slotted it home to make it 1-1.
In a wild swing of momentum, Thomas Maccarone would add another for NTSC, giving them their first lead of the game, when he got on the end of a corner kick and blasted it past the keeper, to give them a 2-1 lead heading into the halftime break.
After the restart, NTSC would continue to pressure to look for an insurance marker. In the 60th minute, Juan Pablo Delgadillo found a way through, as he dribbled past a pair of Richmond Hill defenders and his left footed strike hit the back of the net, to give his side a 3-1 lead.
NTSC weren’t done there. Justin Alexander Santos’ screamer of a shot found the upper corner, increasing the lead to 4-1 in the 78th minute.
Pablo Hemelmann would add a fifth goal for NTSC and Anthony Aromatrio would add a sixth in the 90th minute.
That would be all they would need as they close up shop the rest of the way to win the U-17 Boys OPDL Charity Shield.
Visit the Ontario Soccer Facebook page for all the photos from the final.