By Ottawa Sports Pages, for Ottawa TFC Soccer Club
Ottawa TFC Soccer Club welcomed over 100 teams from as far as Hamilton and Quebec City for its annual Capital Cup this past weekend, but two of its own teams stood tallest in the under-18 boys’ competition at Millennium Park in Orleans.
The Ottawa TFC Regional and White teams treated the crowds to a nail-biting finale after they travelled varied paths to their U18 Boys division title match.
It was an easier path for the Regional team, who won all three of their round robins games in peak condition. They dominated the Barrie Spirits 5-1 and edged past West Carleton and Ottawa TFC White with one goal margins, while Andrew Nelson finished with the division’s goal-scoring crown.
“They were probably a favourite in that tournament, so I would’ve hoped that they made the final,” notes Pavel Cancura, a primary organizer of the festival and the club’s general manager.
The same couldn’t be said for Ottawa TFC White. They finished the preliminary round with one win, one loss, and one draw, squeezing their way into the finals thanks to a must-win 2-1 triumph over Barrie.
“They were an underdog. I asked them if they thought they had a shot and they said, ‘Well, we’re targeting the final,’ so it’s cool that they made it there,” Cancura adds.
Both teams were very familiar with each other’s play styles come the Sunday afternoon final, as they not only play for the same club, but faced off in the round robin on Saturday. The ensuing match was a gritty battle where the goalkeepers won the day. After full-time, the score was still locked at zero and the game had to be decided by penalty kicks.
Ottawa TFC White completed the upset as they edged the Regional team 5-4 in the shootout, though “from my perspective, there’s no loser,” signals Cancura.
The showdown for U18 supremacy gave the tournament hosts one of their three Capital Cup crowns for the weekend.
Ottawa TFC teams thrived in both tiers of the U15 Boys competition.
The Regional team went undefeated all the way through to the Tier 1 title. They concluded with an intense final against Gatineau where the score held at 1-1 after regulation. Much like the U18 finals, the match was decided with penalties where the home side prevailed 2-0.
Individually, Ottawa TFC had the tournament’s top two goal scorers, with Yazid Khattab and Hocine Hadji combining for five goals over the weekend.
Not to be outdone, the Ottawa TFC White C1 team took the Tier 2 title. Every goal mattered as they advanced to the championship game by tiebreaker thanks to a superior goal differential by one, and then closed out West Ottawa 2-1 in the final. Ottawa TFC’s John Perera was the leading scorer of the division with three goals.
In other action, it was an all-Ottawa South United final in the Boys U13 T2 division. Tiago Boukhaloua-Isidoro won the goal scoring race (with seven) and the tournament title as his OSU Force Academy T2 (JW) team downed OSU Steel BU13 T2 (AW) 4-0.
Two OSU friends faced off as foes again in the Girls U14-U15 championship contest. Mila Fresina scored the tournament-winner as her elder GU15 (DC) Force prevailed 1-0 over the Iron U14 C1 (JC-CO).
Ottawa TFC BU13R gave the Barrie Spirits their toughest challenge in an otherwise dominant run in the Boys U14 T2 category. Barrie prevailed 1-0 in their match with OTFC to post their second of four clean sheets. Barrie’s Giuseppe Cervo, Joshua Cristante and Lucas Hott also swept each of the top three scoring ranks.
Cali Barrett edged Rilynne Gray by two to win the goal scoring race in the Girls U13-U14 competition and her OSU GU13 T1 White (ER) squad beat Gray’s Smiths Falls SC GU13 C1 (SC) side by the same margin in the championship game.
And the Rapides de Chaudière-Ouest claimed the lone division crowd for the province of Quebec as the Quebec City area club beat East York 1-0 in the Girls U15-U16 final. The Rapides didn’t allow any goals throughout in the tournament’s shutout central division (only once in 10 matches did both teams get on the scoreboard).
On top of the tournament action, over half the Capital Cup entries came for the single-day festival events for the U9-U12 age groups.
This year’s festival looked a little different than in years past. All the games were centralized at the singular location of Millennium Park.
“It’s stretched us to the maximum capacity – there are games back to back on every field all the time – but it makes for a cool vibe here,” highlights Cancura.
Players and families enjoyed the on-field action, but also kept busy between games as well with the flaming BBQ station and the impressive Millennium play structures surrounding the area. After the games, many of the younger players loved cooling off at the water park.
Cancura salutes the work of the organizing crew in making it a memorable weekend.
“They’re really interested in the details, making sure all the facilities are perfect and keeping track of the goal scorers each game. It really adds to the tournament,” he indicates. “Everybody stepped up and made it one of the best ones we’ve had in terms of the event itself.”
Learn more about Ottawa TFC Soccer Club at OttawaTFC.com.