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CMU Blazer Athletics

Men’s Futsal Begins Copa Chase With Win Over Champions

Despite conceding two goals early in the first half, Men's Futsal calmed their nerves and surprised the defending Copa de la Paz Champions to escape St-Boniface with three points, edging USB 5-4 in MCAC action on Sunday.

Trailing 2-0, the Blazers got themselves on the scoreboard when second-year defender Aidan Beckingham (pictured) rifled a ball past Samir Achour, bringing CMU back into the match. Les Rouges renewed their two goal advantage moments later but it was Beckingham again whose left foot made it 3-2 when he slid in to converted from a well-orchestrated cornerkick.

A strong spell of possession throughout the first half, forced USB into foul trouble. Despite an advantage on the scoreboard, Les Rouges racked up five fouls in the opening 18 minutes and with 7 minutes left in the half, the Blazers hoped to draw a sixth foul from the home team, the result of which would put CMU at the 10 meter spot for a direct freekick and a chance to draw level. 

The sixth foul came with 3.3 seconds remaining in the half. Beckingham's initial free kick was blocked by Achour but Cole Johnson buried the rebound on the stroke of halftime to bring the Blazers to 3-3 at the intermission.

Moments after the teams changed sides, a go-ahead goal came from the head of third-year defender Michael Veremu who outjumped the USB goalkeeper to score from a cornerkick, giving CMU a 4-3 advantage in the match. Midway through the second half, Jaime Hamilton won a challenge at mid-court that set up a 2 versus 1 odd-man break. The fourth-year pivot's dribble drew the attention of both the USB defender and goalkeeper, allowing Hamilton to slide in a pass that put Johnson through to an unattended goal. Johnson's second of the night would turn out to be the match-winner.

Chaos reigned in the final moments of the match as the home team threatened to equalize. Les Rouges scored a fourth goal and then were awarded a 10 meter penalty kick with 7 seconds left in the match when CMU conceded a sixth foul. Second-year goalkeeper Robbie Friesen, who was instrumental in the come from behind win, was equal to Aristide Ebrottie's strike, standing tall and preserving the away win for him teammates.

With three points now in the books, the Blazers travel to Red River next Sunday night to tackle the team that eliminated them from the 2016 Copa de la Paz and the 2016 MCAC Outdoor Soccer Championship, the Red River Rebels. The Rebels are coming off a 10-3 dismantling of the Providence Pilots.

Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference Northern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association