Canadian Championship

Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via AP

Montreal wins Canadian Championship; Toronto woeful in penalties

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The Montreal Impact are going back to the CONCACAF Champions League after overcoming a blown first leg lead to outlast Toronto FC in penalties at BMO Field on Wednesday.

Jozy Altidore missed a penalty, Patrick Mullins saw his saved by Clement Diop, and Jonathan Osorio banged his effort off of the post as Montreal needed just three conversions to win the Voyageurs Cup.

[ MORE: NYCFC moves closer to No. 1 seed ]

The penalties sure do look awful for the three-time defending Canadian champions, who are obviously no longer defending that title.

Ignacio Piatti’s goal in the first leg staked Montreal to a 1-0 lead, but Tsubasa Endoh scored in the 70th minute of the second leg to push this to kicks. Chris Mavinga saw a straight red in the 84th minute for denial of a goal scoring opportunity.

It’s Montreal’s first win since 2014, and it comes in the biggest Canadian Championship yet (13 teams). The Impact’s four titles are now three behind leaders TFC.

Montreal joins Atlanta United and LAFC as MLS clubs to clinch spots in the 2020 CCL. Mexico’s teams are Cruz Azul, UANL Tigres, Club America, and Leon. Jamaica will send Portmore United, six teams will join from the 2019 CONCACAF League, and two more MLS spots will be awarded by the time the MLS Cup playoffs are complete.

MLS LIVE – Rooney, DC meet RBNY; Canadian Championship semis

AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Nine Major League Soccer teams are in action Wednesday, with three mid-week league matches and a pair of Canadian Championship second legs on the docket.

[ MORE: Follow live via MLSSoccer.com ]

We’ll begin with the latter, where Toronto FC and Montreal Impact bring 1-0 leads into tonight’s kickoffs. The final goes over two legs, Aug. 8 and 15, with the Canadian Championship winner moving on to the CONCACAF Champions League.

The MLS pairings are highlighted by an old school match-up between DC United and the New York Red Bulls.

MLS
DC United vs. New York Red Bulls — 8 p.m. ET
Houston vs. Philadelphia — 9 p.m. ET
San Jose vs. Seattle — 10:30 p.m. ET

Canadian Championship
Toronto vs. Ottawa Fury — 7:30 p.m. ET
Vancouver vs. Montreal — 10 p.m. ET

Giovinco strikes twice to lift Toronto FC to Canadian Championship (video)

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
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Sebastian Giovinco scored twice including in stoppage time as Toronto FC overcame Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla’s fantastic strike to win 2-1 in the second leg of the Canadian Championship at BMO Field on Tuesday.

TFC held the advantage after a 1-1 first leg in Montreal. The Reds advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Tabla, who just turned 18 in March, is an Ivorian-born Canadian youth international who now has four senior goals for the Impact.

Montreal veteran Patrice Bernier saw red in the 89th minute, putting the Impact’s chances behind the 8-ball.

[ MORE: USMNT Gold Cup questions ]

Toronto FC entered the match with a road goal advantage, which was undone in the quick flash of a left-foot, as Tabla dug a ball from underneath him and past a flying Clint Irwin to make it 2-1 on aggregate.

The goal was a double whammy for Toronto, which went to the break knowing it would need to score twice (or win in penalty kicks) to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.

Yet TFC came back after a horrendous pass from Montreal, as Michael Bradley pinged a gorgeous diagonal ball to Sebastian Giovinco. The Atomic Ant recovered from a tough opening touch to bury his chance. 1-1.

And, oh yeah, watch this man work for his second…

Toronto FC and Vancouver start battle for CONCACAF Champions League berth

AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jimmy Jeong
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Looking for a tasty appetizer for the Copa America Centenario semifinal between the United States and Argentina on Tuesday?

You’ll have to bail early or go multi-screen, but Toronto FC and Vancouver will go head-to-head in the first leg of the Canadian Championship at 7:30 p.m. ET, 90 minutes before the Yanks meet La Albiceleste.

[ MORE: EURO, Copa America Today ]

The winner of the two-legged affair between Ontario’s MLS side and their peers in British Colombia will go onto the CONCACAF Champions League for 2017-18.

The ‘Caps have just one of the eight Canadian Championships handed out so far, with a country best four going to Toronto FC. That said, TFC doesn’t have one since 2012 and Vancouver is the reigning champion.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET

Canadian Championship (leg 1) Snapshot: Montreal Impact 2-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Vancouver Whitecaps got exactly the result they hoped to achieve in their first-leg meeting with the Montreal Impact of the first leg of the Canadian Championship on Wednesday night — kind of. In truth, the Whitecaps were angling for a 0-0 away result from the first whistle — so much so, in fact, that through first 45 minutes, that the visitors didn’t attempt a single shot in the champions series’ opening quarter of play. That same gameplan ensued well into the second half for the ‘Caps, until Darren Mattocks nabbed the unlikeliest of opening goals, following by a second from Pedro Morales. However, with two away goals already in tow, the ‘Caps were unable to kill the game off and retain their two-goal lead. Carl Robinson’s side would have snatched a draw out of your hand before the game began, but considering the varying game states along the way, a 2-2 draw will be thoroughly infuriating. The second leg will be played in two weeks’ time (Wednesday, August 26) at BC Place in Vancouver.

[ MORE: Week 23 MLS Team of the Week | Player of the Week ]

Three moments that mattered

65′ — Mattocks’ delicate touch give the ‘Caps an unlikely lead — Kianz Froese broke down the left side for Vancouver, got to the endline and provided a really dangerous cross into the six-yard box of Montreal. Mattocks, not typically known for his feathery first touch, provided the most delicate of redirects and sent the ball just inside the far post for an unlikely 1-0 ‘Caps lead.

72′ — Morales embarrasses Kronberg with a near-post free kick — Pedro Morales is not someone for whom you want to leave an entire half of goal open and unmarked on a free kick. For some reason, Eric Kronberg did just that, and Morales curled a stunner and made him pay.

85′ — Jackson completes Montreal’s quick double-salvo — Laurent Ciman pulled one back through Laurent Ciman’s header of Marco Donadel’s corner kick. 22-year-old Anthony Jackson-Hamel grabbed an equalizer barely 60 seconds later.

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Man of the match: Marco Donadel

Goalscorers: Mattocks (65′), Morales (72′), Ciman (84′), Jackson-Hamel (85′)