PORTLAND – Tim Rovnak headed in a crossing pass with 3:49 left in overtime to give second-seeded Portland a 2-1 victory against third-ranked Cape Elizabeth in a Western Class A boys’ soccer semifinal Saturday night at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The Bulldogs (14-1-1) will be home against fourth-seeded Gorham in the regional final at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Brett O’Kelly crossed the ball from the right and Cape (10-4-2) didn’t have time to react. Rovnak’s header hit the inside post and went in.

“I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Rovnak. “It felt great watching it go in. After a long soccer season, it feels nice to keep it going. This game was fun to be part of.”

Cape goalie Cam Brown was outstanding. His aggressive style held Portland at bay until 13:46 remained when Fazal Nabi tied it with a blistering shot with Brown screened.

Earlier in the half, Brown stopped a Nabi penalty kick with a diving save.

That looked like it might be it for the Bulldogs, though plenty of time remained.

Enter Nabi, who had been closely marked. He got the ball with his back to the Cape goal from 20 yards, turned and drilled a shot through a crowd into the upper left corner.

“The ball came to me and I had some space,” said Nabi. “I got it on my left foot and launched it. I thought we dominated the game at times. Cape played tough.”

On his penalty kick, Nabi said: “You have to give the Cape goalie credit. He guessed right and made a nice save. He’s an outstanding goalie.”

Early in overtime, Cape put pressure on the Portland goal.

“I thought we had more possessions in overtime,” said Cape Coach Ben Raymond.

On the winning goal, Raymond said: “They played a short ball from a different spot. I don’t think we reacted that well on the play but the bottom line is Portland got on the other end of the play.”

Raymond said Brown was outstanding, as he has been all season.

“All game long, the amount of shots he took away from them was impressive,” said Raymond. “That was an outstanding goal by Nabi. He got free and shot it through a crowd. Cam didn’t see it. I think if he had seen it he would have stopped it.”

The Capers led 1-0 at halftime on Tim Takach’s goal with 14:24 left. Jack Queeney assisted.

“This game is what the semifinals should be about,” said Portland Coach Rocco Frenzilli. “It was a great soccer game. (Nabi) never ceases to amaze me with what he does. After he missed the penalty kick, I could tell he was down by his body language. But it just affected him for a little while and given the opportunity, he made it count.”

Portland beat Gorham 1-0 in the regular season.


Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]