FC Ukraine United eked out a narrow 4-3 win on penalty kicks over Hamilton City in the fourth quarterfinal game of the Canadian Soccer League championship played Sunday.
The other three quarterfinal games were played Saturday when Scarborough, Kingsman A and SC Waterloo advanced to the semifinals, eliminating CSC Mississauga, FC Vorkuta and Serbian White Eagles.
The match at Centennial Stadium late Sunday afternoon was attractive to watch and physical often and although Ukraine United had an edge in the first half, Hamilton was strong following the interval and into the extra time. It all ended with penalty kicks, 4-3 in favour of Ukraine United in a game that could have gone either way.
Ukraine United got off to a quick start when Molham Babouli struck at 7 minutes. The prolific Babouli took a low cross from David Velastagui on the left wing to guide the ball past Hamilton goalkeeper Alexandar Nicolic. It was 1-0 at the break.
Stefan Stojanovic equalized for the visitors at 48 minutes, finding the net past Ukraine United goalkeeper Oleksandr Popravka from 5 yards following a strong attack well into the penalty box. The goal gave Hamilton a drive that brought more opportunities in the second half and the tone of the game became more physical with referee Tony Amaral having to exercise greater control.
Both sides came close to scoring, including a Ukraine United goal called offside and this was followed by a drive from 15 yards by Babouli that struck the foot of the left post.
It was 1-1 at 90 minutes and 30 minutes of overtime and Ukraine United took the penalty shootout by a 4-3 score.
Ukraine United will be at home to SC Waterloo in the second semifinal