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The Men's Ontario Cup Final between the Woodbridge Strikers and Durham Celtic was a battle of Ontario Soccer League (OSL) rivals.
But before they got there, their road to the 2017 Ontario Cup final was a long one for both Woodbridge and Durham, who have had to go through three hard fought matches to make the final.
Durham Celtic have become a well-known name in the OSL, finishing in the top half of their division for the past few seasons. So when it came time to take on fellow powerhouse Vaughan Azzurri in the semi-finals, Durham knew what they were in for. They kept their dominating form, played smart and came away with a 3-0 victory.
For Woodbridge, they currently sit in last place in the provincial elite division and have been seen as underdogs this whole season.
When it came time for their semi-final matchup, Woodbridge already knew who they would be facing in the cup final and needed to put together a much better showing compared to their last encounter with Panathinaikos, in which they lost 2-0.
After the 90 minutes were played, the Strikers were able to put on their best showing so far in the cup, coming out on top with a 5-2 win.
And despite the grind to get to the Ontario Cup Final, both sides did not disappoint when it came to trying to qualify for the Toyota Canadian Club Championships.
Each side traded chances throughout the first half but Durham was the first team to break through.
Off a corner kick, Durham’s Colin Keay pounced on a loose ball and blasted it into the upper half to give Durham a 1-0 lead.
The two teams would clash throughout the remainder of the first half but neither would find the back of the net.
The second half would be more of the same with both teams going at each other, playing wide-open, looking to find a way through.
Woodbridge looked as though they had tied it, following a corner kick but a Woodbridge player was deemed to be offside and it was called back.
Only moments later, Durham would extend their lead when Emmett O’Conner found his way down the wing. His cross found the foot of Mark Van Beek who buried his chance to make it 2-0.
Durham would shut it down the rest of the way and capture the Men’s Ontario Cup and qualify for the Toyota Canadian National Championship, hosted in Surrey B.C., starting on Oct. 4.
Visit the Ontario Soccer Facebook page for all the photos from the final