VAUGHAN, Saturday, September 15, 2007-- The tone for this game was set before kick-off.
The Brampton team was the only team of the day to sing proudly with the playing of the National Anthem and that got the 156-strong crowd really hyped for a game of competitive football.In the 3rdminutethe Wolves #7Urim Hajrullahuhad his shot picked off his foot by Assassins keeperGavin Tyler.#10Jabir Mohamedthen drove a shot from 35 yards that hadaccuracybut no power, although a bobbled ball by the Brampton keeper meant he nearly put it into his own net.#12Andrew Hoodthen put the Roma Wolves ahead with an early strike in the 11th minute. The area was packed withbodiesbut Hood somehow found a way through and finished with a low, hard strike.Throughout the first half, both teams showed an ability to attack quickly and get numbers up into the opposition's half with lightning speed.Bramptonâ€™s #35Todd Surmanwas set free and, after a strong run to the penalty area, drove a shot at goal that Wolves keeperNathan Billardpushed around for a corner. Billard then saved the resulting cross with complete composure in a crowded box.#7LirimHajrullahutried to extend the leadat26 minutes with a powerful shot from 25 yards out, but a scramblingGavin Tylerdid well to push the ball wide.At the 35-minute mark, Brampton striker #24Mathias Arceproved that it is possible to hit a ball too well with three beautifully-struck shots that were either saved by Billard or the woodwork.
The second half was split evenly and, with the lively Roma crowd starting to get louder, but a great shot from Assassins #25David Ulloathat only just missed the top left corner suddenly silenced the fans.The Wolves started applying more pressure and only a good off-side call and numerous saves by the Brampton keeper kept the Assassins in the game.Brampton then started to assert themselves with long periods in the Wolves' half of the field. But there were few clear chances for Brampton and in the last 10 minutes, the Wolves had several chances to put the game out of reach with a flurry of shots -- all to no avail.
The game ended as it had begun with two teams playing good attacking football and the crowd loving every minute of it.In theendHood's lone goal sealed the game and St. Catharines Roma Wolves were crowned Ontario Cup Champions."This was our second year in the Ontario Cup Final -- last year we lost 1 - 0 but this year the boys came back more experienced and with a definitecomittmentto going home winners," said Roma co-coach,Ken Lamb. "They did a great job and it was a fabulous team effort from every player. We met Brampton twice earlier this season and won both games, but they played a strong game today and both teams represented their cities well and treated the fans to a terrific game of soccer."
"I thought it was an excellent game -- both teams fought really hard," said Assassins coach,Don Miller. "The Wolves came out strong in the first half and got an early goaland that was enough to win the game for them. We've got to congratulate them. It's been a long season for us -- we beat a couple of top-ranked teams to play here tonight and I'm proud of our boys getting this far. As the saying goes, two teams had a chance and one's got to win and they were deserving -- that's the game. But we're going to be back next year."