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News


Lions win 4th Cup in a row capturing 12th Provincial MSA Cup Title in Team History

July 27, 2019

By Richard Scott - CanadaSoccer.com

 

FC Winnipeg Lions won their 12th Manitoba Cup provincial title to qualify for the 2019 Toyota National Championships. Winnipeg centre back Adam Hajkowski scored the winning goal on a header in the 27 July final, a 2:1 victory over Winnipeg's Bonivital United.

 

FC Winnipeg Lions have won four consecutive Manitoba Cup titles since 2016, a run which has included a national silver medal at Canada Soccer's National Championships in 2017. With 12 provincial titles from 1995 to 2019, the Lions have tied Winnipeg Lucania for third-most Manitoba Cup titles behind Winnipeg United Weston FC (13) and Winnipeg Scottish (15).

 

"It was a really important moment for us," said FC Winnipeg Lions head coach Tony Nocita. "With five new players, it was important that they fit and contribute which they did. This was big because we changed our style with the new players, so it was a big test for us to get it right."

 

In the 2019 Manitoba Cup final, A.J. Naumiuk opened the scoring before Nick Zachanowich equalised. Hajkowski then scored the winner in the 94th minute on a header from an Anthony Lourenco corner kick.

 

In the provincial final, FC Winnipeg Lions featured Sean Golden in goal, Braeden Hidalgo-Mazzei, Adam Hajkowski and Aaron Hidalgo-Mazzei along the back, Krzysztof Szulc, Matt Appler, Elliott Peddle, and Kyle Moraldo in the midfield, Hugo Figueiredo and A.J. Naumiuk on the wings, and Brendan Rattai up front.

 

Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships serves as our nation’s premier amateur competition, with the 2019 edition featuring more than 600 clubs from across the country competing for a spot at one of three locations: the men’s Challenge Trophy and women’s Jubilee Trophy finals in St. John's, Newfoundland Labrador; the boys and girls U-17 Cup finals in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and the boys and girls U-15 Cup finals in Edmonton, Alberta. The Toyota National Championships provide a meaningful soccer experience for host cities and participating teams, as well as the players, coaches, support staff, officials, and volunteers. These competitions are complimented by both the Futsal Canadian Championship and the Canadian Championship featuring Canada’s professional clubs.


Lions beat United to clinch senior title

July 28, 2019

By Taylor Allen - Winnipeg Free Press

YOU can’t win ’em all, but don’t tell the FC Winnipeg Lions that.

On Saturday at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex, the Lions defeated Bonivital United 2-1 to win the senior men’s provincial championship for the seventh time in eight years.

"I gotta be honest, we talk about it every year how we have to lose sooner or later and you never want it to be that year," Lions head coach Tony Nocita said.

"But we’ve certainly showed resiliency and a real good focus in achieving what we’ve done, so I’m pretty proud of the guys."

This year’s title marks the fourth in a row for Nocita and his club, but this one came in dramatic fashion.

The match was tied 1-1 as the official announced four minutes of injury time would be added to the clock. Moments later, in the 92nd minute, the Lions took advantage of a corner kick with Adam Hajkowski scoring the winner with a header.

"They battled hard," said Nocita on Bonivital, who were playing in the finals for the first time. "And I guess maybe I’ll chalk it up to we’ve been there so many times that we just don’t panic in these moments. We just let the game go. We were perfectly prepared to go to overtime if we needed to."

Overtime wasn’t needed, but flights to St. John’s, N.L., will be as the team will represent the province at the 2019 Toyota National Championships from Oct. 9 to 14.

The Lions will be in Group A with the top teams from British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and New Brunswick. The Lions are two years removed from playing in the national championship game against Nova Scotia. Last year, they met Nova Scotia at the nationals again, but it was for seventh place as both teams had a disappointing tournament.

Nocita said it’s tough to compete at the nationals, but he’s confident this year’s team will return to the podium, as he believes this is the most talent they’ve ever had. The Lions also might have some luck on their side as St. John’s was the host city back in 2002 when the Winnipeg team won nationals.

"I can honestly tell you we certainly feel we can win a gold medal," Nocita said. "But we’re looking to medal for sure. That’s our goal this year. But where that ends up, we’ll see."

The Lions have now won the provincial title 12 times in total, which is tied with Winnipeg Lucania for the third most in Manitoba soccer history.

The Winnipeg Scottish own the record as they claimed 14 provincial titles between 1914-1965. The Winnipeg United Weston are in second with 13 titles from 1909-1963.

 

 

 




FC Winnipeg Lions win 11th Manitoba Cup provincial title

July 28, 2018

 

FC Winnipeg Lions came from behind to win the 2018 Manitoba Cup, their 11th provincial title and sixth in the past seven years. Man of the match Krzysztof Szulc scored the added-time winner as FC Winnipeg Lions won the 28 July men's final 3:2 over Winnipeg Lucania to qualify for the 2018 Toyota National Championships.

Down 0-2 after 45 minutes, FC Winnipeg Lions made some adjustments but kept to their game plan and let their experience lead them to victory. 

"We had hit the post and just couldn't make more of our opportunities in the first half," said head coach Tony Nocita. "After we got the equaliser, we just knew we would get the winner."

Tom Foderaro cut the lead in the 54th minute before substitute Go Kumagai scored the equaliser in the 82nd minute. Szulc scored the winner in the 91st minute. Lucania goals in the first half were scored by Amos Ganyea and Stuart Hodges.

"We started a bit slow, but credit to Lucania who took their chances in the first half. Our team didn't panic and getting that first goal was key for us. We picked up our game, had a lot more possession, and were more effective in the second half."

FC Winnipeg Lions' starting XI in the provincial final featured Sean Golden in goal, Domi Antonini at right back, Andrew Aitken (captain) and Adam Hajkowski at centre back, Aaron Hidalgo-Mazzei at left, Matt Appler and Tom Foderaro in the midfield, Anthony Lourenco and A.J. Naumiuk on the wings, Krzysztof Szulc as an attacking midfielder, and Brendan Rattai up front.

In the second half, coach Tony Nocita replaced Antonini and Lourenco with Dan Keith and Go Kumagai (46'), Foderaro with Seifeddine Dhaoui, and Rattai with Marques Scott. Tevin Olivier-Job, Braeden Hidalgo-Mazzei, Moreno Alberti, Edin Kurbegovic, and Hugo Figueiredo did not feature while Zachary Harrison was unavailable through injury. 

FC Winnipeg Lions were national runners up in 2017, falling 0:1 to Western Halifax FC in the championship match. They were Canada Soccer Challenge Trophy winners back in 2002. With 11 provincial titles, FC Winnipeg Lions now trail Lucania SC by just one: they have 12 provincial titles along with national titles in 1987 and 2000. Only Winnipeg Scottish FC (14 provincial titles from 1914 to 1965 plus national titles in 1915, 1954 and 1962) and Winnipeg United Weston FC (13 provincial titles from 1909 to 1963 plus national titles in 1924 and 1926) have more.

At the 2018 Toyota National Championships in Saskatoon, FC Winnipeg Lions will compete in Group B alongside Newfoundland Labrador winners, Ontario winners, Northwest Territories winners (Yellowknife Yk Galaxy FC), and Québec winners. The 10-team competition runs from 3-9 October.

Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships serves as our nation’s premier amateur competition, with the 2018 edition featuring more than 600 clubs from across the country competing for a spot at one of three locations: the men’s Challenge Trophy and women’s Jubilee Trophy finals in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; the boys and girls U-17 Cup finals in Surrey, British Columbia; and the boys and girls U-15 Cup finals in Laval, Québec. The Toyota National Championships provide a meaningful soccer experience for host cities and participating teams, as well as the players, coaches, support staff, officials, and volunteers. These competitions are complimented by both the Futsal Canadian Championship and the Canadian Championship featuring Canada’s professional clubs.

Source:  canadasoccer.com

 




Lions Claim Silver at 2017 Toyota National Championships

October 9, 2017

The FC Winnipeg Lions finished 2nd at nationals capturing the Silver medal at the 2017 Challenge Trophy National Championships in Surrey, BC.

The Challenge Trophy Gold medal match saw the Lions representing Manitoba while Nova Scotia had Western Halifax FC as their representative at nationals. The two sides won their respective groups to advance to the gold medal match on Teck Finals Day.
 
Winnipeg defeated Fredericton Picaroons Reds 2-1 on Sunday to clinch their berth in the final.  The Lions went undefeated with three wins and one draw to finish on ten points.  Halifax went undefeated with three wins and one draw.
 
Today's match was the first time Manitoba and Nova Scotia have met in the national final. 

Nova Scotia score in the first minutes of the match and held on to their 1-0 lead despite waves of pressure from the Lions in the second half.  

The Lions also received the Fair Play award at this year's tournament.

The Lions 2017 outdoor season record including MMSL league play and nationals was 18 wins, 1 loss and 3 ties. 

The Silver medal in this year's Toyota National Championships Challenge Trophy Championship final is the Lions 4th national medal since 1996.

Since our inception 22 years ago, the Lions have won:

1 Gold Medal victory at the Canadian National Championship at the 2002 Challenge Trophy National Tournament in St. John's, Newfoundland

1 Silver Medal victory at the Canadian National Championship at the 2017 Challenge Trophy National Tournament in Surrey, BC

2 Bronze Medal victories at the Canadian National Championships in 1996 and 2013 Challenge Trophy National Tournament in Halifax

10 MSA Provincial Cup Championships in 1995, 1996, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017

12 Outdoor Premier League Championships with 11 championships in the Manitoba Major Soccer League Premier Division in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and 1 championship in the now defunct Super Soccer Alliance in 2001

 


FC Winnipeg Lions win 10th Manitoba Cup provincial title

FC Winnipeg Lions won their 10th Manitoba Cup provincial title to qualify for the 2017 Toyota National Championships Challenge Trophy finals. FC Winnipeg Lions won the men's final 3:1 over Winnipeg Ital-Inter SC on Saturday 26 August, their second consecutive provincial title and 10th title in 23 years since 1995.

A.J. Naumiuk was the hero as he scored both the opening goal (20') and go-ahead goal (59') in the second half. Shemar Thomas scored for Ital-Inter SC (54') while Go Kumagai scored the go-ahead goal for FC Winnipeg Lions (85').

"All the credit goes to the players as they came prepared after a good week of training," said Tony Nocita, FC Winnipeg Lions head coach. "Their tactical awareness was really good and we could have scored a couple of more. The team played really well and they managed the game from start to finish. I am really proud of the guys."

Naumiuk scored his first goal on a penalty and his second after a good chase to tap in the eventual winner. Kumagai scored his goal late after he chipped the oncoming goalkeeper.

In the provincial final, FC Winnipeg Lions' lineup featured Sean Golden in goal, Domi Antonini at right back, Andrew Aitken and Adam Hajkowski at centre back, Aaron Hidalgo-Mazzei at left back, Tom Foderaro and Matt Appler at centre midfield, Anthony Lourence as an attacking midfielder, Edin Kurbegovic and A.J. Naumiuk as wingers, and Brendan Rattai up front. Go Kumagai, Krzysztof Szulc, Braeden Hidalgo-Mazzei, and Hugo Figueiredo featured as substitutes while Jordan Smith Smith, Tevin Olivier-Job, Moreno Alberti, Seifeddine Dhaoui, and Dan Keith all dressed for the final. Zachary Harrison was unavailable through injury.

Heading to the Toyota National Championships, FC Winnipeg Lions will face Ontario winners, Yukon winners, Québec winners, and Fredericton Picaroons Reds (New Brunswick) in Group B action starting 4 October. The men's Challenge Trophy finals run 4-9 October in Surrey, British Columbia.

Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships serves as our nation’s premier amateur competition, with the 2017 edition featuring close to 600 clubs from across the country competing for a spot at one of three locations: the men’s Challenge Trophy and women’s Jubilee Trophy finals in Surrey, British Columbia; the boys and girls U-17 Cup finals in Fredericton, New Brunswick; and the boys and girls U-15 Cup finals in Calgary, Alberta. The Toyota National Championships provide a meaningful soccer experience for host cities and participating teams, as well as the players, coaches, support staff, officials, and volunteers. These competitions are complimented by both the Futsal Canadian Championship and the Canadian Championship featuring Canada’s professional clubs.

Source:  canadasoccer.com

With files from Rochelle Dziadekwich