FREDERICTON -- Yassin Shehab El Din scored the shootout winner as the New Brunswick Varsity Reds edged the York Lions on Sunday in the bronze-medal match for Canadian men's university soccer.
It marks the fifth top-three finish in program history for the V-Reds, who claimed their lone national title in 1980, the only previous time the event was held in Fredericton. UNB had also tied for third in 1982, 1986 and 1987, when no bronze-medal games were played.
The Varsity Reds had to work extra time in all three of their contests this weekend. They edged Saskatchewan 2-1 in OT in Thursday's opening round and lost a 1-0 heartbreaker in kicks to Laval in Friday's semifinals.
"We're happy because we won the shootout today, but I mean, it was just two days ago we were on the other side of it," said UNB head coach Miles Pinsent. "It's a cruel game, and today I liked it a little bit better for sure."
For their part, the OUA champ Lions had crushed Saint Mary's 3-0 on Thursday before losing 2-1 to UBC in the semis.
In today's shootout session, both teams scored on their first two attempts before goalkeeper Aaron McMurray gave UNB the edge with a save against Mark-Anthony Kaye. With the score at 4-4 after nine shooters, Yousuf Mohammad had a chance to seal the victory for the locals but he was robbed by all-Canadian goalie Sotiri Varlokostas.
UNB regained the edge right away however thanks to another McMurray save, this one on Carlos Nogueira, which set the table for El Din, who buried the game-winner in the bottom right corner.
York's first kicker in the shootout, CIS rookie of the year Jonathan Lao, put the ball past McMurray. Midfielder Victor Karosan answered right back however to tie it at one each.
Dylan Sacramento would get the second goal for the Lions, but the Reds once again answered with a goal of their own off of Benjamin Law's foot.
McMurray then came up big with the save against Kaye. This would be followed by UNB's Philippe Demers, who put one in for a 3-2 UNB lead.
Daniel Alonzi (York), Steven Miller (UNB) and Benjamin Futoriansky (York) then scored, followed by Mohammad's miss.
Nogeuira had a great opportunity to put the Lions ahead but McMurray came up huge once again. El Din then sent the crowd into a frenzy seconds later.