Vancouver Whitecaps FC are headed to the Canadian Championship Final.
After a 1-0 loss in last week’s first leg, the ‘Caps turned in an impressive 2-0 victory over Montreal Impact on Wednesday night at BC Place to advance 2-1 on aggregate.
Yordy Reyna and Kei Kamara provided the scoring for Vancouver, who will now face Toronto FC in the two-leg tournament final on August 8 at BC Place and August 15 at BMO Field.
The ‘Caps spoke this week about the importance of Wednesday’s match and that was reflected in Carl Robinson’s starting XI, which included the likes of Reyna, Kamara, and Kendall Waston.
It was also reflected in their liveliness from the opening whistle.
Aside from a 16th-minute chance from Saphir Taider, the ‘Caps were in complete control in the opening frame. They outshot Montreal 9-1 and had several opportunities, eventually opening the scoring through Reyna in the 19th minute.
After a good spell of possession, the Peruvian finished a cross from Jake Nerwinski with a half-volley from the penalty spot to put Vancouver ahead 1-0 and level the series on aggregate.
The ‘Caps nearly added another in the 29th minute, striking the crossbar on a curling free kick from Cristian Techera, before eventually getting the all-important second goal at the hour-mark. After Marcel de Jong was taken down at the edge of the box, Kamara placed his penalty just beyond the outstretched arms of Clement Diop to give Vancouver the advantage.
Diop kept Montreal in it late with an outstanding diving save on a point-blank chance from Techera at the back post, but the ‘Caps would hold firm at the other end of the park to secure the victory.
Whitecaps FC return to MLS action on Saturday, hosting Minnesota United FC in a battle between two teams fighting for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference (7 p.m. PT kickoff at BC Place – tickets still available).
NEWS AND NOTES
After undergoing his medical with FC Bayern Munich in Philadelphia, Alphonso Davies returned to Vancouver on Wednesday night and will re-join the ‘Caps at training on Thursday. Davies will play out the rest of the season with Vancouver before joining the Bundesliga giants in 2019.