Guy-Frank Essome Penda’s penalty strike in a shootout propelled the Montreal Carabins to a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Vikes and into the semifinals of the U Sports men’s soccer championships on Thursday.
In a game that took 120 minutes and the shootout to decide, Montreal edged Victoria 4-3 on penalty kicks.
After a scoreless first half, Vikes forward Ian Whibley found an open Isaac Koch in the box, and the fifth-year senior one-timed the low, hard shot under a diving Felix Goulet for a 1-0 Victoria lead.
Both teams had excellent scoring chances in overtime, but failed to convert, sending the game to a shootout.
Tied in penalty kicks through the first four players apiece, Victoria’s Matteo Ventura was stopped on a low drive to the left, setting up Essome-Penda, the 2021 U Sports player of the year. He slotted into the bottom right corner.
Montreal will take on the Guelph Gryphons in the first semifinal on Saturday.
Owen McKee and Alex Zis scored to lead the Gryphons to a 2-0 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
The OUA champion Gryphons, who entered the national tournament as the only undefeated team left in the country, got on the scoreboard in the 37th minute when Jack Sears’ low drive at the net landed on the foot of McKee. The rookie finished with a tap-in from two yards out.
The Huskies were reduced to 10 players when senior defender Kwaku Korankye picked up his second yellow card and was ejected.
Zis put the game out of reach in the 73rd minute, cutting past his defender before launching a hard shot from outside the box.
Guelph keeper Svyatoslav Artemenko earned his third consecutive playoff shutout.