Whitecaps lose to TFC in heated match 0
Vancouver Whitecaps' Sebastien Le Toux knocks down a pass in front of Toronto FC's Ashtone Morgan (R) during the first half of their 2012 Canadian Championship final soccer match in Toronto May 23, 2012. (REUTERS)
It started off sluggish. Then it turned ugly. By the end, the game became a scene of disgruntled Vancouver Whitecaps players and an elated Toronto FC squad.
After all the red and white confetti settled on the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship final Wednesday at BMO Field, Toronto were left clutching the Voyageurs Cup above their heads for the fourth straight year.
Their 1-0 victory over the Whitecaps gave them a 2-1 aggregate win following last week's 1-1 tie at BC Place. It also meant TFC will represent Canada in the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League.
Midfielder Reggie Lambe scored in the 83rd minute, capitalizing on confusion by Whitecaps defenders in the box, and striking the ball past goalkeeper Joe Cannon. The tally sealed the victory for the hosts as Vancouver urgently pushed forward, but could not get any late-minute heroics from the likes of Eric Hassli or the rest of the offence.
With the loss, Vancouver remain runner-ups to Toronto, who are 0-9 in MLS action, for the fourth consecutive season.
The first half saw a lack of action and intensity on either side. But it was early in the second half when the game began to get out of control, with both teams losing a player to red cards in the same minute.
Toronto's Julian de Guzman was first to go for a slap on Whitecaps midfielder Jun Marques Davidson, who sold the "touch" rather well by dropping to the pitch while clutching his face. Sebastien Le Toux was then given his second yellow of the match for his part - a stomp - in a wild scene between the two sides.
A heated war of words between Vancouver's Jay DeMerit and Toronto's Ryan Johnson also required separation by the referee.
With both teams down to 10 men, Vancouver had more room to attack, needing at least a goal for any hopes of winning. Subs Davide Chiumiento and Darren Mattocks helped them generate chances but could not finish.
Toronto's Nick Soolsma looked to have given the hosts the lead on a three-on-two break but his goal was called back as he was clearly offside. However, the club made up for it moments later with Lambe's goal.
The Whitecaps will turn their focus back on MLS when they head to Portland to face the Timbers on Saturday.