The Lakehead University women’s soccer team from Orillia and the Confederation College men’s side have both qualified for the first time to advance to the Ontario College Athletic Association provincial championships.

Lakehead, led by Thunder Bay’s Jess Langille, picked up a huge 4-3 decision over the Conestoga College Condors in their last game to secure a spot in the finals.

The Confederation College Thunderhawks men’s squad will also travel for the playoffs at Redeemer College on March 23 after defeating Conestoga College 1-0 and the Canadore College Panthers 2-0.

Even though the Confederation College girls blew away the Panthers 6-0 in their final game, it was not quite enough to move on after two earlier defeats in the competition.

Back at the LU University Hangar, Shaylan Crich netted a pair of goals to help the Sounders defeat Daniar’s Algoma 3-1 in Thunder Bay women’s league play.

In the evening’s other matchup, Melissa Kelly and Meaghan O’Connor secured a 2-0 win for TFC over JTIM.

In men’s league action, Harambe edged Nucci’s 2-1, while MTFC fought to a 3-3 draw with the Port Arthur Big Dogs.

The Canadian women’s national side fell just short of retaining the Algarve Cup in Portugal last week.

After two opening group game victories over Denmark and Russia, a goalless tie against the host country was enough to give the Canadians a second successive berth in the tournament final.

However it wasn’t meant to be this time around losing out 1-0 to Spain in the finale.

On the topic of the national program, the draw has been made for this year’s Gold Cup in July, with Canada grouped off with Honduras, Costa Rica and French Guiana.

Toronto FC drew 2-2 with Philadelphia in MLS play, recording their second successive tie on the road, to open up the new campaign.

In the battle of the two expansion clubs, Atlanta smoked Minnesota United 6-1! United have conceded 11 goals in their opening two games and although the campaign is early, it could be a long season for the new boys.

Barcelona claimed probably the greatest comeback of all time in Champions League play midweek after thumping PSG 6-1.

The Spanish club were trailing 4-0 from the opening encounter in Paris and scored three times in the last few minutes to secure a history-making victory.

A few other memorable Champions League comebacks include the 1999 final when Manchester United scored twice in stoppage time to defeat Bayern Munich 2-1 and, in 2004, a star-studded AC Milan were up 4-1 against Deportivo after the first leg of their encounter, only to get dumped out of the competition after a 4-0 loss in Spain.

Milan were featured in another turnaround in the 2005 final. After leading Liverpool 3-0 at halftime, they let the English champions come back to tie it up 3-3 and eventually lose on penalty shots.

Back to this season’s competition and Arsenal was trailing by four goals from their opening game against Bayern. No comeback here though as the German champs thumped Arsenal 5-1 for a 10-2 aggregate scoreline.

Finally, back to Barcelona and just a few days after their amazing turnaround victory, the Spanish giants fell back to earth losing 2-1 to Deportivo in domestic league action.

John Rider’s column runs Tuesdays in The Chronicle-Journal. You can reach him with soccer news at

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