Nanaimo United player Ben Leggett, right, tackles a Cowichan opponent during Sunday’s Jackson Cup final at Victoria’s Royal Athletic Park. (KEVIN ROTHBAUER/Black Press)

Nanaimo United wins Jackson Cup

Nanaimo United’s Div. 1 men defeated Cowichan FC by a 2-1 score in extra time Sunday in Victoria.

United pulled off an upset and became Jackson Cup champions.

Nanaimo United’s Div. 1 men defeated Cowichan FC by a 2-1 score in extra time Sunday in Victoria to win the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s premier championship. It was the first time Nanaimo has won the cup since 1999.

“I’m so proud of my guys,” said Lucian Serban, United coach. “They competed with whatever they had and the way I asked them. We played as a team.”

The Jackson Cup match unfolded in unforgettable fashion for United, culminating in Niko Cristante’s game-winning goal in the 110th minute.

Nanaimo’s Daragh Fitzgerald opened the scoring in the 14th minute off a header and the match stayed 1-0 through most of regulation. Cowichan had a player red-carded in the 75th minute, but pressed to tie and had four corner kicks in injury time, finally scoring in the 90th minute.

“We have a belief that’s beyond measure…” said Andrew Adams, United captain. “Our team talk when we went to extra time was, ‘we’re just going to make this more of an epic win,’ So that’s how positive we were still.”

Cristante’s championship-winning goal came on a counter-attack.

“We had a young, quick guy that just capitalized on a bad touch and used his speed to get around [the defender] and one-on-one, just slaughtered it home,” Adams said.

United was tested in many different ways Sunday at Royal Athletic Park. They game was played on a grass field, which United had hardly played on all year, and windy conditions also made things tricky. Cowichan, as expected, played physical soccer and by game’s end, United was exhausted, hurt and cramping.

“Every single player – we couldn’t have done it without one of them,” Adams said.

Geoff Hackett was the winning goalkeeper and Adams was chosen Jackson Cup MVP.

United didn’t get to take home the historical trophy, but did get to drink champagne from the cup. The team was able to share the victory with family, friends, alumni and other familiar faces from the club.

“That really did give us strength, looking out there and seeing all the support…” Adams said. “This is for Nanaimo.”


Just Posted

Nanaimo byelection candidates get their first chance to debate

NDP, B.C. Liberals, Greens participated in Forum for Millennial Leadership debate Monday

Sinking sailboat kept afloat near Nanaimo

Ferry and marine search and rescue vessels assist near Five Finger Island

Nanaimo RCMP seek suspect after armed robbery of gas station

Alleged incident occurred Sunday night at Uplands Drive and Turner Road

Nanaimo man dies in rollover crash in Brechin Hill area

Medical emergency suspected in incident Saturday on Poplar Street

Tonight’s Nanaimo byelection debate intended to inform ‘young professionals’

B.C. Liberals, NDP and Green candidates to participate in Forum for Millennial Leadership debate

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Most Read