Sporting Montreal win 2022 Canada Soccer Futsal Championship

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It was only fitting that the best rivalry in Canadian futsal made up the final of Canada Soccer’s club championship for the third consecutive time.

With COVID-19 essentially stopping all futsal across the country from 2020 through late 2021, this year’s event was a much needed return to normalcy for futsal.

With COVID-19 essentially stopping all futsal across the country from 2020 through late 2021, this year’s event was a much needed return to normalcy for futsal.

With six entries into this year’s competition. Sporting topped Group B after coming back from a 3-1 deficit at halftime to comeback with a 5-4 victory over a gutsy Calgary Callies side on Saturday. That followed their lopsided 30-1 victory on Thursday against Team Nunavut, which, despite not winning any games, provided a spirit in the competition that led attending fans to make them the “second team” to cheer for.

In Group B, Toronto faced Yukon and Pioneers FC of Winnipeg in their group stage matches and emerged with 8-3 and 6-1 victories to clinch their familiar place in the final.

After defeating Pioneers 4-2 in their group stage match, the Yukon became the first territory to secure a place in a medal match. They gave a valiant performance but were unable to secure the bronze as Miguel Nagib scored in the 31st minute to clinch third for Calgary.

After winning the 2017 championship in Kingston against Saskatchewan, Sporting were looking to finally get over the hump against Toronto Idolo after losing the previous two title matches in 2018 and 2019 against the Ontario based club.

With a capacity crowd in attendance at the Gatineau Sport Centre in Quebec, the match would not disappoint as it was a suspenseful back and forth encounter between the top two clubs in the country.

The hosts got off to a dream start when Nboucha Abdelmouhaimen led a counter attack and placed the ball in the low left corner in the 2nd minute to further ignite the already raucous home crowd.

Montreal continued to press hard and almost doubled their lead but a pair of remarkable point blank saves by former Canadian international Luigi Caruso prevented that.

The two time defending champions were able to get on the scoreboard in the 10th minute when Toronto winger Roberto Gallo caused a turnover and fed Canadian forward Damion Graham who made no mistake to make it 1-1.

Montreal would strike again in the 17th when Kardoussi Anis received a through ball from Shaquille Michaud and made a lovely subtle flick over a sliding Caruso to put Sporting up 2-1.

It appeared as Montreal would take the lead into halftime but with 18 seconds remaining a beautiful piece of skill by Colombian-born Seba Lopez opened up a slot and he followed it with a well crafted left footed strike down low to even the score at two a piece going into half.

The action continued immediately from the break with Michaud, the hero of Sporting’s victory in 2017, brought the crowd to it’s feet after scoring a sensational header 33 seconds in.

The game was a chippy back and forth affair for the next 10 minutes with both teams exchanging multiple goal scoring opportunities. Idolo would strike next to even the game at three when Damion Graham put the ball into the box where it found 2018 Futsal Player of the Year Jacob Orellana and he made no mistake, blasting it up high to get the traveling Idolo supporters loud again.

But their enthusiasm was to be curbed only 21 seconds later as Michaud would put Montreal up again when he was left completely unmarked at the far post and an easy tap in gave him his second of the game.

A penalty late in the match would give Idolo a glorious opportunity tie it up for the fourth time but former Canadian international Matthew Rios uncharacteristically fired his shot directly at the keeper and Montreal maintained the lead.

Toronto continued to press hard with the extra attacker and had chances but could simply could not make it count. Sporting would score two empty net goals in the final minute, including Michaud completing the hat trick, to give Sporting their first victory over Idolo and more importantly their second Canadian club title.

Man of the Match: Shaquille Michaud

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