Toronto FC became the first team to book a spot in the 2022 Canadian Championship semifinals, defeating host HFX Wanderers, 2-1, in the quarterfinals at Wanderers Grounds in Halifax on Tuesday evening.
An own goal by defender Peter Schaale four minutes from full time was the difference for Toronto, seven-time winners of the Voyageurs Cup, who will meet the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal between CF Montréal and Forge FC.
After a goalless first half with no quality chances for either side, Toronto head coach Bob Bradley brought in some of his heavy hitters to start the second half, with Jonathan Osorio, Jesus Jimenez and Ayo Akinola all coming off the substitute’s bench.
Perhaps buoyed by the changes, the Reds raised their intensity level and broke the scoreless stalemate in the 55th minute when Jordan Perruzza flicked on Luca Petrasso’s corner kick, which took a final deflection off Michael Bradley’s head.
HFX Wanderers, which defeated host Guelph United, 2-0, in the Preliminary Round, leveled through Sam Salter. The forward slipped his low, left-footed effort past Quentin Westberg and inside the far post in the 69th minute.
Salter nearly had his brace in the 81st minute, but his attempt went just over the crossbar. Five minutes later, the decisive goal came for Toronto after Osorio latched onto Jacob Shaffelburg's cross and put his shot off the crossbar and in off Schaale.
- 55’ — TOR — Jordan Perruzza
- 69’ — HFX — Sam Salter
- 86’ — TOR — Peter Schaale (OG)
- THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't smooth sailing for Toronto FC, which certainly didn't want to have to sweat out a result against the Canadian Premier League side. Yet that's just what happened, with the Reds conceding an equalizer in the second half before Jonathan Osorio (essentially) won it for Toronto, though the goal was somewhat cruelly ruled an own goal.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It was a strange sequence, which started with a Jacob Shaffelburg cross that Ayo Akinola missed before Jonathan Osorio crashed in at the back post, putting his shot off the crossbar and Halifax defender Peter Schaale.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jonathan Osorio has a history of coming up big in key moments for Toronto FC. The late winner was the latest example.
- HFX: Saturday, June 4 vs. York United | 2 pm ET | Canadian Premier League
- TOR: Saturday, May 28 vs. Atlanta United | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, TSN in Canada) | MLS