In the opening match of the 2023 Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) Cup Finals, it was Hamilton United Elite against Brampton Soccer Club in the Girls U15 division at the Ontario Soccer Centre, Saturday afternoon.
It was a fairly even opening half as both teams controlled the ball well and defended strong, but that changed around half way through the half when Brampton turned up the heat, pressuring the ball higher up the field and creating key turnovers.
Brampton’s pressure paid off in the 23rd minute, when Forward, Niyah Noel-Gordon, headed home the opening goal of the match off a corner kick. Brampton than nearly doubled their lead moments before the end of the half when a cross found Forward, Chiamaka Omeze wide open at the back post, but her shot went just over the bar.
It was more of the same in the second half with it starting even matched to start, but Brampton once again came on as the half progressed. In the 52nd minute, Brampton doubled their lead after a centering cross from Omeze struck the arm of a defender who was just inside the box, resulting in a penalty. Brampton Captain, Jay Lecky, would convert from the spot.
Despite the deficit, Hamilton continued to battle and made the finish interesting when Jamie Kamendy scored a great direct free kick from over 20 yards out in extra time. Unfortunately for Hamilton, the goal was too-little-too-late, as they would come up just short, falling to Brampton 2-1. Visit the 2023 OPDL Cup Finals Match Centre for full coverage on all the great finals this weekend.
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