What a game that was. If the first leg was an absolute snoozefest, the return leg was an epic. The Whitecaps were going for it right from the start, the Impact playing a very good counter attack game. An early goal, a 30 yard free kick laser to the top corner no less from Camilo took the prospect of extra time or penalties out of the way, from there, we saw the absolute beauty of the two leg format. A goal either way wouldn't just tie the game, it took a team instantly from losing to winning and vice versa. Fantastic drama and it actually happened 3 times.
The whitecaps battered the Impact but just couldn't get that 2nd, hitting the bar as well as wasting countless other opportunities, often by the tiniest of margins, a Kenny Miller header drifting just wide for example. It's the oldest cliche in the book, but missed chances will come back to haunt you and they did. Felipe tied it up early in the 2nd and now Montreal were winning. But the Whitecaps came back and took the lead again through Kobayashi. Once again bad luck reared it's head as a Camilo shot that surely would have clinched it instead rattled off the post.
Martin Rennie's substitution of Miller for Jordan Harvey is one that will get a lot of second guessing, and fortune did not favour the timid as the Impact came back once again. A di Vaio shot was heroically blocked by Andy O'Brien, but then the ensuing corner was a bit of a shambles and Hassoun Camara headed one in, and now suddenly the Impact were winning.
The Whitecaps had their chances after that late goal, gloriously both of them fell to the aforementioned Harvey and he messed them both up, and thus another chapter is added to the ongoing book of ways the Whitecaps can lose the Voyageurs Cup.
We already had the 2009 Surrender monkeys/Miracle in Montreal, the thunderstorm abandonment that wiped out their lead in 2011, and deservedly losing to the worst team in the world in 2012. Now we can add playing the final almost perfectly, getting the dour 0-0 on the road, playing a great game at home, taking it to their opponents, doing everything right and creating more than enough chances to win only to have it snatched away with a late goal anyway, to the list. I look forward to seeing what fresh nightmare the Caps can conjure up for themselves next year.
Given how it happened this year, I almost have some sympathy for Whitecaps fans. Almost. But anyway, congrats to the impact, I hope the CCL distractions and travel ruin your season. Commiserations to the Caps, after all those years of bleating about how you deserved it, and how you were cheated out of it, this year you actually did deserve it, this one was legitimately a bit unfair. Football can be cruel.
One last moment, the cherry on top of it all for any bitter TFC fan who's on twitter was the presentation of the Cup itself, escorted out to the pitch as is traditional by a local Voyageur. This year is was Ben Massey, a fierce supporter/critic of Canadian Soccer, and an intelligent and entertaining writer, formerly at Eightysix forever, currently at Maple Leaf Forever. Good for Ben, that's a pretty cool honour to walk out and present the trophy, and commiserations that he had to do it after his team lost to a bitter rival.
But of course, he is also knows as Lord_Bob. Provocateur and Twitter troll extraordinaire, Canadian Soccer's Cartman, almost a stereotype of the westerner with a grudge who hates Toronto and TFC, revels in their perpetual misfortune and sees conspiracy in everything the CSA does. Click on the link in the tweet below to see him stoically carrying the trophy in mere minutes after having his heart crushed.
He took a lot of stick on twitter last night, which I was happy to join in with at the time. Part of me feels bad about that, but I know if anyone can appreciate cruel schadenfreude fuelled twitter trolling, and would gladly join in if it were anyone else, it's Lord Bob, so not too bad.
Anyway, a great game it was. Very entertaining, though as a TFC fan, the gap in quality between both teams out there last night and TFC looked depressingly large. Do click on the links above for more on the game, and click here for all of SB Nation's coverage of the entire 2013 tournament. An if you can't be bothered to do either of those things, at the very least do yourself the favour of watching these highlights.