Queen of Peace Croatian Centre: Norval, Ontario (Sept 1-2, 2018) – Norval Croatia Soccer Club hosted the 55th Croatian National Soccer Tournament of Canada and USA as thousands gathered from early morning into late afternoon to watch the men’s teams play, socialize and browse various vendors in the park.
The tournament started in the early hours of the morning as the players rolled in and began warming up in preparation for the matches. The opening game was a match between Norval Croatia A and St. Catherines A, with St. Catherine’s taking the victory. Spectators from all across Ontario and as far as Los Angeles, California came to support the teams from their local communities. Enthusiasm in the crowd was high as they cheered on their teams.
As day one progressed, the group stage matches and quarter finals took place. Dalmacija Streetsville, Zagreb Toronto, Croatia Cleveland and Jadran Croatia were the top four teams to reach the championship semifinals.
In the consolation finals, Norval Croatia A, Kitchener Hrvat, Croatia London St.Thomas, and Mississauga Croatia moved to the semi-final games to play on Sunday.
It was an all Canadian final in the championship and consolation finals!
Dalmacija Streetsville and Zagreb Toronto were the final two in the championship bracket with Norval Croatia A facing Kitchener Hrvat in the consolation finals,
Although both finals were extremely close and well-contested matches, Dalmacija Streetsville came out on top in the championship game 4-2, while in the consolation final Kitchener Hrvat edged past Norval Croatia A in a penalty shootout 1-0.
Between games, supporters and guests had the opportunity to browse unique vendors such as Uppermoda, an Australian-Croatian company that came to Norval specifically for the soccer tournament, to launch a new product: their bomber jacket. Michael, an Australian-born Croatian and his wife, Megan, originally from Hawaii, showcased a wide variety of products as part of their tour across Canada and the United States. Their products combine a unique Croatian style with a modern flare creating a unique, wearable range of merchandise. Also showcasing unique, Croatian themed products was Studio Mikan, with Local Handmade Croat focused magnets & custom designs, enhancing the atmosphere of the tournament and allowing each visitor to experience something to their liking.
Celebrations continued Saturday and Sunday evening as players and those who came to support the tournament enjoyed a dance and dinner banquet hosted by Norval Croatia Soccer Club where Ilija Prodanovic of Adria Sudbury was recognized by the soccer federation with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award for five decades of contributions to the tournament and to the Croatian team in Sudbury.
The 55th Croatian National Soccer Tournament of Canada and USA was a great success, allowing for a social, athletic and competitive environment for Croatians from North America to connect, re-connect and form relationships and bonds to last a lifetime.
Congratulations to Norval Croatia Soccer Cub and Dalmacija Streetsville!