By Nashra Syed
The TMU Bold men’s soccer team fell 4-2 against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (UBC) in their first game of the U Sports nationals championship tournament in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday afternoon.
After losing to the McMaster Marauders in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship final, the Bold came into nationals as a No. 6 seed.
This was the team’s second-ever appearance at the national championship tournament.
The first half was off to a cold start, with players from both teams dressed warmly. The Thunderbirds started the game with possession but missed their first few goal attempts.
A stop from goalkeeper Ali Ghazanfari and steal from defender Tristan Marshall kept the Bold tight on defence.
The team celebrated midfielder Faisal Ghaffur when his header earned them an early 1-0 lead.
But Smiles were quickly wiped off when Thunderbirds player Daniel Kaiser scored a goal, tying the game minutes after Ghaffur’s goal.
UBC’s Nick Fussell took down Bold defender Mario McLennon which earned him the first yellow card of the game.
The foul didn’t discourage the Thunderbirds, with Fussell and Victory Shumbusho racking up the score to 3-1 at the end of the first half.
With pressure building up at the start of the second half, a penalty goal from Bold second-year Justin Santos gave the team a glimmer of hope. Their short-lived celebration was shot back down as the Thunderbirds secured another clean goal.
An additional four yellow cards were given to Bold players Bilal Reslan, Karamvir Mehmi, Brandon Barone, and Tristan Marshall in the second half of the game. UBC’s Shumbosho earned himself a yellow card in the second half as well.
The Bold fought to the end but were unable to ride up the score, with their national championship hopes coming to an end.
The road doesn’t end here for the squad, they’ll head into the consolation match on Friday afternoon.
UP NEXT: The Bold take on St. Francis Xavier X-Men in a consolation match. Kick-off is set for 2:15 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon.