READING, PA (August 4, 2018) – Reading United’s season came to a crushing end as they were defeated by Calgary Foothills FC, 4-2, in the 2018 Premier Development League Championship Game at Wilson’s Gurski Stadium. The sides were deadlocked at 2-2 at the end of regular time but the visitors grabbed goals from Nico Pasquotti and Ali Musse late in the second period of extra time to claim their first ever league championship.
Twelve minutes into the match, Foothills FC grabbed the lead. A defensive foul gifted Calgary a free kick 32 yards from goal. Ali Musse stepped up and hit a perfect ball into the upper corner of the net to give Calgary a 1-0 advantage. The goal was Musse’s fourth of the playoffs.
Reading United would pull level just before halftime. Aaron Molloy was tripped up just outside the Calgary penalty area, earning a free kick for Reading. Molloy would take the free kick and lasered a shot past PDL Goalkeeper of the Year Marco Carducci to tie the game at 1-1.
Reading would surge into the lead in the 79th minute. Kieran Roberts, who entered the match in the 77th minute, steered a Dawson McCartney cross past Carducci to give United a 2-1 lead with just minutes to play.
The game would take a dramatic turn moments later when Reading United defender Kamal Miller was ejected from the match after picking up a second yellow card in the 80th minute. Reading would be forced to defend their lead with just 10 men on the field.
In the 85th minute, Calgary would punish Reading. A ball popped up to Dominick Zator, who controlled the ball off his chest before sending a looping volley over Bennet Strutz’s outstretched hand and into the net to level the game at 2-2.
The match took another swerve seconds before the referee blew for full time. Kieran Roberts was cut down by a vicious challenge from Foothills defender Chris Serban. The two-footed challenge earned Serban a straight red card and meant each team would play extra time with 10 men on the field.
Reading were reduced to nine men on the field in the 114th minute when midfielder Pierre Reedy was cut down near midfield and had to leave the game with a leg injury and could not be replaced as United had no substitutes remaining on the bench.
Calgary capitalized moments later when forward Nico Pasquotti took possession in the right channel and cut into the Reading penalty area where he unleashed a left footed shot past Strutz to give Calgary a 3-2 lead in the 118th minute.
Calgary would seal their first ever Premier Development title in the 120th minute. Tofa Fakunle charged at Reading’s defense and slid a ball to the right for Musse who made no mistake slipping a left footed shot past Strutz to push the visitors’ lead to 4-2.
After falling in the championship game two years earlier, Calgary Foothills FC would celebrate their club’s first league championship on the pitch at Gurski Stadium as the referee called time on the game.
Reading United, champions of the PDL Eastern Conference, finish the season with a record of 15-1-2.
READING UNITED LINE-UP
GK - Bennett Strutz; DEF - Dawson McCartney, Lamine Conte, Kamal Miller (Issac Currie 82'), Rob Campbell; MID- Zach Zandi (Spencer Burkhardt 90'), Aaron Molloy, Felipe Hideki (Oscar Ramsay 77'), Kalil Elmedkhar (Gilbert Waso 70'), Ezana Kahsay (Pierre Reedy 57'); FWD - Khori Bennett (Kieran Roberts 77')