[PDL] Canada's Forest City London claimed its first PDL championship with a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Dynamo on Saturday night at Macpherson Stadium. Jordan Ayris, an All-Central Conference selection, scored a second-half goal to give Forest City the win.
“It’s been great, all the boys are great on the pitch, off the pitch we’re good friends, they couldn’t be more welcoming,” Ayris said. “Coming in with the boys who had been here last year, or for two or three years, made it easy for me to come in.”
London defeated the Thunder Bay Chill, Michigan Bucks and Sounders FC U23 on the way to the championship game.
Carolina that took the lead in the 26th minute, however, as UNC Greensboro forward Hakan Ilhan’s pass split the defense to find Charlotte's Donnie Smith, who beat the London defense and easily rounded goalkeeper Reece Richardson to score.
London quickly responded as Bryan Da Cruz sent in a good cross from the left that was flicked goalward by Ayris. A Dynamo defender headed away, but the ball came to Carl Haworth as he cut through the penalty area and hit a perfect right-footed volley into the right corner of the net.
The winner came with 14 minutes to go as London got a free kick about 35 yards from goal. The Dynamo were able to clear the initial free kick, but Tyler Hemming then floated a cross into the penalty area, where it landed at the feet of Ayris, who flicked the ball quickly onto his left foot and scored.