Vancouver Whitecaps vs Ottawa Fury FC | Canadian Championship Match Preview

Ottawa Fury vs Vancouver Whitecaps

BC PLACE, Vancouver, British Columbia
Amway Canadian Championship semifinal, second leg
June 8, 10 pm ET (TSN2 in Canada, MLS LIVE in US)

In order to be able to defend their Amway Canadian Championship title, the Vancouver Whitecaps will first have to dig their way out of a two-goal hole in the second leg of their semifinal against the NASL's Ottawa Fury FC, following their 2-0 loss in the first leg of the series last week. Because they failed to score in the away leg of the series, Vancouver must win by three goals or more to win the series outright. A 2-0 win for the Whitecaps would force overtime, but a 3-1 Vancouver win would see Ottawa go through on the away goals tiebreaker rule.

How they got here

VANCOUVER: Defending champions, the Whitecaps, along with fellow MLS sides Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, automatically entered the Canadian Championship in the semifinal round.

OTTAWA: The Fury qualified for the semifinals for the first time in their history this year, as they defeated FC Edmonton 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final four.

The series so far

Facing an unfamiliar opponent from a lower league, the Whitecaps tried to play a young lineup in the first leg of the series and ended up paying for it, giving up goals to a pair of former MLS players in Jonny Steele and Paulo Junior. Steele scored from outside the box in the third minute and Junior banged home a rebound in the 41st minute. Playing at home, Vancouver knows a 2-0 victory would mean an aggregate score of 2-2 and would force the second leg to go to extra time. In the extra time, away goals count double, so if Ottawa scores, then the Whitecaps would have to score two goals to force a penalty kick tie breaker. 

Series history

The first leg match was the first competitive meeting between the clubs. The Fury, which began play in 2014 and were championship finalists last year, had not played a non-NASL opponent in a competitive game before last week's match.