The University 15 boys first division side are celebrating a gripping win after outlasting South Coast United in a tense grand final.
The boys jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first half, but the match quickly turned sour in the second half, with captain Milos Radic sent off after receiving his second yellow card.
What followed was a tense battle as South Coast United sought an equaliser and University fought desperately to hold on to their slim lead.
Ultimately South Coast struck with just three minutes remaining, and when neither team was able to break the deadlock in extra-time, the match went to a penalty shootout.
Having watched his side lose a number of penalty shootouts in recent times, coach Miles Mihajlovic, was nervous but hopeful this would be the one their luck turned.
That it was, though not without a hint of controversy.
Uni’s goalkeeper was sent off midway through the shootout for moving off his line, forcing a defender to don the keeper’s jersey.
Up stepped Filip Karanfiloski, who, after scoring the team’s first half goal, finished off the job, saving two shots to secure a 4-3 victory.
“It was a pretty tense game,” Mihajlovic said. “We’ve had some terrible luck in penalty shootouts, so I just reminded the boys how much work they’ve put in and it’s not the end of the world if they don’t win.
“I told them we’ve got nothing to lose, we’re here now so let’s take this one. And they did.”
While the Uni 15s were victorious, the University 14s were unsuccessful in their title bid, falling to Shellharbour 3-0. Highlands won the 14s second division.
There were upsets galore in the remaining grand finals, with Bulli stunning Figtree 2-1 in the 12 boys first division decider. The second division was also an upset, with Kiama defeating Unanderra 1-0.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the 13 boys first division, with Port Kembla ending Lake Heights bid for an undefeated season, prevailing 1-0 thanks to a Mohamed Mehdi goal.
Kiama took out the second division title, defeating Coniston in a penalty shootout.
Lake Heights’ weekend did not improve in the older age groups, with Fernhill upsetting the premiers in the 16 boys grand final.
Riley Ware was the match-winner, delivering his team, who finished fourth on the ladder, the title.