It was a chippy affair in Cloverdale as the defending champs Surrey United Firefighters defeated Estrella de Chile 2-1 to advance to the semi finals of the Provincial A Cup. The Firefighters got goals from Ryan Reynolds and Joseph Martin while Admir Salihovic responded for the Burnaby club.
The early moments of the game saw Estrella try to get on the board early as Eric Ray tried to test Andrew Fink from distance forcing the keeper into a diving stop. However Surrey United started to control play soon after, as Sean Einarsson beat a tackle and crossed the ball into former Cap Jeff Clarke for what looked like the opening goal if it were not a great stop by Michael Newton.
It was around the twenty minute mark when the Firefighters finally opened the scoring as Einarsson laid the ball off to another former Whitecap Steve Kindle who crossed the ball into the box and found Ryan Reynolds whose header beat Newton for the opening goal.
A free kick to the left of the box had Kindle almost setup another score as defender Brad Peetoom got a head on the ball but it sent it wide of the net. Estrella was saved once again by Newton as one of their defenders attempted a header back to him that was off the mark forcing him into making a stop and then the rebound was almost converted by a Surrey player if it were not for Newton.
The home side was dealt a blow when the referee gave a second yellow to Colin Streckman for dangerous play reducing the Firefighters to ten men with the second half to play. Estrella tried to take advantage and Eric Ray tried his luck from distance but the shot was easily handled by Fink as the first half ended.
It didn’t take long after the break for the even up call as the referee handed Estrella captain Tchoumi Narcisse a second yellow for a tackle on the sideline.
It looked as though Surrey were back in control but miscommunication between the defenders led to Ray intercepting the ball and sliding it over to Salihovic who beat Fink with a solid strike to even up the match.
The visitors almost took the lead moments later when a cross into the box was volleyed over the net by the attacking player.
At this point Surrey started to take over. Clarke one timed a pass across the six yard box but was unable to find the net. Once again Peetoom had a chance on a corner to get a goal for United but his header missed the mark by the slimmest of margins.
Some excellent play around the box set up the winner as Martin picked up the ball to the right of the net, moved to the left and took a shot across his body depositing the ball past Newton for the late lead.
There were attempts from Estrella to equalise but it was Surrey who carried the majority of play and they were able to close out the match and advance to the semi finals of the Cup, where they will travel to face Vancouver Thunderbirds next weekend.
Below are some more photos of the match courtesy of Mynor Campos: