TORONTO – Toronto FC won the 2017 Canadian Championship in dramatic fashion on Tuesday night with a last-gasp 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact (3-2 on aggregate) at BMO Field to lift the Voyageurs Cup and earn their spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Montreal took the lead in the 35th minute when Blerim Dzemaili surged up the middle of the park. He was dispossessed by Chris Mavinga, but recovered the loose ball to find Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla for a sweet left-footed bender past Clint Irwin to cancel the away goal and shift the balance of the tie in the Impact's favor.
But Sebastian Giovinco would not go quietly, responding in the 53rd minute with a deft finish, cutting in from the right to beat Maxime Crepeau to the bottom corner after Michael Bradley's cross-field ball picked out the Italian.
Patrice Bernier would see red for a tackle on Marky Delgado in the 89th minute, leaving the Impact to finish the match with 10 men. And Giovinco played the hero come the 95th minute, tucking a Raheem Edwards cutback into the Montreal goal.
- 35' – MTL – Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla
- 53' – TOR – Sebastian Giovinco
- 95' – TOR – Sebastian Giovinco
- CREPEAU KEEPS IT TIGHT: TFC bossed most of the match, particularly the opening half-hour, and would have taken the lead were it not for several wonderful saves from Crepeau. The Canadian goalkeeper denied his countryman Tosaint Ricketts in the first half, then made a big save on Giovinco's goal-bound attempt shortly after the break and later extended himself to intervene on a Giovinco cross for Jozy Altidore. Without his heroics, the match would have been very different.
- TWO ANGRY SOLITUDES: Whenever the two ancient rivals meet, there's bound to be some fireworks. Kyle Fisher was shown yellow in first half stoppage-time for a thunderous body-check on Steven Beitashour near the half-way line, a play more fitting of two hockey clubs. And after Bernier caught Delgado to precipitate his red card, more than a little shoving ensured.
- ERA OF DOMINANCE: Since the Voyageurs Cup began to be awarded via the Canadian Championship in 2008, Toronto have dominated. Tuesday's victory, their second consecutive title, was the club's sixth in the 10 editions, dwarfing Montreal's three and Vancouver's one.