After failing in three previous championship attempts, Three Brothers scored two first-half goals and then relied on its defense to defeat Temple Hills, 2-0, in the Inter-Divisional Cup soccer final yesterday at the University of Maryland.
Tony Nweke scored the first goal at 27:50. He controlled a pass from Mitch Dudley, and kicked it in from six yards.
Dudley finished the scoring at 37:38. After taking a cross from midfielder Ed Liebe, Dudley, standing inside the penalty area, lined a shot inside the right post and past goalie Andy McCrossan.
Three Brothers has reached the the adult amateur league's final four of the past five years, losing twice on penalty kicks. Temple Hills lost in last year's final, 2-0, to New Carrollton Soccer Club.
"This year we really went out for it," said Nweke, whose goal was his first of the season. "We felt if we didn't win it this year we might never win it."
Once Three Brothers took the lead, its midfield trio of Liebe, Reza Mirgia and Sven Diekinson slowed the tempo, helping to protect the advantage. Forced to play a long-ball offensive game, Temple Hills never mounted a serious threat.
"They were laying back and we ended up playing too much kick-and-run," said Temple Hills forward Ignazio Bonanni. "But you've got to hand it to them, they played some tough defense."
The league, which is sanctioned by the Mid-Maryland Soccer Association, includes 16 teams that each play seven regular season games, and as many as four postseason games.
Three Brothers finished fifth of eight teams in its division with a 3-3-1 record. Temple Hills was second at 4-1-2. New Carrollton finished first with a 5-1 record but was upset in the quarterfinals by Three Brothers, 2-1, on penalty kicks.