The Centennial Centaurs are back in the show.
After being absent from the senior boys high school soccer provincials for the past eight years, the Centaurs booted their way back into the tournament with a 3-2 upset of the Heritage Woods Kodiaks Wednesday at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex to earn the third — and final — berth into the championship tournament from the Fraser North Zone.
Dr. Charles Best Blue Devils and Riverside Rapids also qualified, with the Port Coquitlam side claiming the top seed after its 2-1 win in penalty kicks over Best in the Zone final that was also played on Wednesday.
Nico Porretti opened the scoring for Centennials in the second minute when he booted home the ball from a goalmouth scramble.
The Kodiaks replied quickly with a successful strike on a penalty kick just four minutes later then carried a 2-1 lead, as well as most of the territorial advantage, into halftime.
But the Centaurs fought back after the break. Matteo Papa tied it when he corralled a rebound off a shot by Poretti, then regained the lead midway through the second half on a goal by Lucas Roos.
Centennial battened down the hatches to withstand the Kodiaks’ push to get level again that included three free kicks in the last five minutes of the match.
“Our spirit and ‘never say die’ attitude have become our signature,” said Centaurs assistant coach Larry Moro. “We are very excited to compete at provincials.”
The championship tournament begins Nov. 25 at Burnaby Lake.
More to come...