It wasn’t pretty, but Toronto FC are headed to the Voyageurs Cup Final where they will face the defending champions, the Montreal Impact. The Vancouver Whitecaps forced extra time with a 2-1 score, but Toronto ultimately won 5-4 on penalties. This is the third final TFC have made since the tournament switched to its current format. Toronto have won the Canadian Championship four times.
Doneil Henry had the lone goal for Toronto FC, a very controversial tally that appeared both offside and to have included a foul by Nick Hagglund on Whitecaps keeper Marco Carducci. Erik Hurtado and Pedro Morales, the latter on a penalty, had the goals for Vancouver to send the match to extra time.
As always a full breakdown of the match will be up at some ridiculous hour. For now, enjoy chuckling once again at how this goal from Henry was allowed to count in the first place, followed by the game in six, and the game summary and post game quotes
TFC- Henry 4'
VAN- Hurtado (Morales) 43'
VAN- Morales (PK) 86'
TFC- Bekker (Caution) 16'
VAN- Mitchell (Caution) 30'
TFC- Henry (Caution) 57'
VAN- Salgado (Caution) 79'
TFC- Orr (Caution) 89'
TFC- Bloom (Caution) 90'
Score (On Aggregate):
2-1 Toronto FC (1st Leg)
2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps (2nd Leg)
3-3 (5-3) Toronto FC (Agg.)- Semi-Final
TFC- Orr: Goal
VAN- Laba: Goal
TFC- Moore: Goal
VAN- Manneh: Saved
TFC- De Rosario: Goal
VAN- Fernandez: Goal
TFC- Bradley: Goal
VAN- Teibert: Goal
TFC- Nakajima Farran: Goal
Toronto FC- Bendik, Hagglund, Orr, Henry, Morgan (Bloom 79'), Nakajima-Farran, Bradley, Bekker (Lovitz 64'), Osorio, Moore, Gilberto (De Rosario 83').
Unused Subs: Konopka, Richter, Wiedeman, Defoe
Vancouver Whitecaps- Carducci, Reo-Coker, Mitchell, Leveron, Dean (Fernandez 82'), Teibert, Alderson (Laba 67'), Mezquida, (Salgado, 71) Morales, Manneh, Hurtado.
Unused Subs: Tornaghi, Harvey, O'Brien, Koffie,
Ryan Nelsen - Head Coach, Toronto FC
Thoughts on the match:
"I thought it was a thrilling game for the crowd. It was a really good spectacle for the Canadian Cup. It was two young teams out there and with a bit of experience on both teams. It was just a really good competitive game."
On the floater shots taken on Marco Carducci:
"I'm not going to apologize for it, he's a young keeper, he's 17 and hopefully games like this he'll learn. That's how you do it as a young kid. I thought he was very good today. He's got a great future and all that, but when you're a young kid and you're in goal on a situation, be ready for it."
On coming into the game up 2-1:
"Well I think that unfortunately that late goal at Toronto kept them in the tie. We knew we were going to get a chance here; we knew we were going to score here. And it would've been over, and so that kind of kept them in there. We played a really young team as well, very inexperienced guys that played together. You know we had Luke [Moore] who has just turned up on our team, we had Daniel Lovitz come on, and Nick Hagglund, and it was his first game in probably six or seven weeks, so actually in terms of minutes played their guys played a lot more minutes probably than our guys."
Performance of Joe Bendik:
"We just expect that of Joe now. That's why he's one of the best goalkeepers in the league. He's got such a bright future, and I wouldn't be surprised after this World Cup if he gets a call-up."
Joe Bendik - Goalkeeper, Toronto FC
On tonight's performance:
"I thought it was really good. All the guys who came on, all the guys who were starters, they played 120-plus minutes, that's tough to do especially after all the travel and we have a game on Saturday, so mentally, that's incredible from all those guys. I can't speak enough about them."
On whether he guessed or kind of knew where Manneh was going with the penalty kick:
"I saw in both games that he had a little tendency - he liked that side. Every time he cut in, he would try to go for that near post. I told myself at the beginning of the game, or last night, that if we went to penalties, then he would go that way, I ran it through my head. I knew I just had to make one save and the guys would finish them off."
On TFC's 5-for-5 showing in PKs:
"The guys are top class. We took penalties the other day in training and I think I saved maybe one. They were incredible tonight. Their finishes were incredible. To come down to the wire like that, then to finish it so well is a good characteristic for this team."
On whether the match gave him personal satisfaction, in showing his abilities, even though he's backing up Cesar:
"Of course. Every day in training, we still talk, Julio and I, so there's no difference in the way that we train, the way that we play, and I think that both our performances show that. For Julio, the guy wins everywhere he goes, so maybe he's rubbing off for TFC."
On playing Montreal in the ACC finals:
"I like it. I think I speak for everybody - we'd rather go to Montreal than to Edmonton. I like the rivals, also it cuts down on our travel for the league, so that's nice, but it's good to have that rivalry so close."
Doneil Henry - Defender, Toronto FC
Thoughts on the match today:
"I thought it was really competitive, I thought both teams really did play well. At some points, we were in possession and really attacking-minded. Vancouver really did fight back."
Thoughts on his goal:
"I credit that to the team 100%. It wouldn't have been anything without Nick's first effort to go out and challenge it. I was hungry to get a goal - I'm just happy to help the team get an away goal, it was very important. You could see the boys battled really hard and we did it."
On the play that got Whitecaps FC a penalty kick:
"You can ask the referee. Very questionable to me. In that situation and position, I don't see why it's a penalty. At the end of the day, he makes the calls and we won the game - a little karma."
On whether Toronto was lucky to get away with being down 2-1 after regulation after Vancouver dominated play:
"We're definitely not lucky. This is a team that works hard and in Toronto, I thought that we should have had a lot more goals and lucky that they scored in the dying parts of the game. No, this is a team that definitely put in a lot of work. Everything that we have went into making it to the finals. I think we really do deserve it."
On TFC's penalty kick prowess:
"We did it in training on Monday and some of the penalties were really good. Including myself, I was ready if I got my chance to step up. A game is not only 90 minutes. Sometimes it goes into overtime, golden goal, and sometimes it's decided by penalty kicks. We were ready for the situation if it got to it, and we took full advantage."
On how they will fare against New York on Saturday with the quick turnaround:
"I think that all the guys are in high spirits right now and definitely riding with a lot of confidence. We'll do what we have to do to recover and fully regenerate our bodies, but otherwise, I'm ready for New York. A couple of guys got some rest and I feel really positive going into the weekend."
On playing Montreal in ACC final.
"Bittersweet. Last year's qualifying semi-final round, we faced Montreal and beat them 2-0 at home, and then got spanked away. We didn't go to the finals, obviously. Definitely when we get the chance to face Montreal, we're going in there with everything to get those two legs, to go in there and bring the Canadian Cup back to Toronto."
Carl Robinson - Head Coach, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Thoughts on the team's performance:
"Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I keep saying I'm proud of them, but what a performance that is. And we won the game today. Obviously we lost the cup tie, but we won the game, but there was only one team that was ever going to win that. We dug ourselves a little hole because they got in with a straight ball like they tried a lot last week in Toronto, but we didn't give up. We kept fighting, kept creating chances, obviously we took it to extra time. Probably the only disappointing thing is when we got the 2-1 lead goal we got two more chances there in normal time to win the game, and I think that's the only disappointment because I think they were gone, they were dead on their feet, and then extra time; we got dead on our feet. We got tired and it probably got played out then ‘til penalties."
On not capitalizing on chances:
"It's decisions at the right time, but I think today, someone asked me why I'm not playing my strongest team. I said, well tell me what my strongest team is? And that's the reality of the performance today, players who haven't played that much football come in and for their first or second game it was absolutely fantastic that they could compete at this level as well."
On Toronto's goal and Marco Carducci's play:
"I think it was an aerial challenge, he looked to foul, I was trying to say to the fourth official it was a foul but, you know he'll learn from it... but besides that he kept us in it with one or very good saves as well. He had a very solid game."
Marco Carducci - Goalkeeper, Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Thoughts on the match:
"Obviously it's disappointing. We ended up losing on PKs, but at the end of the day, we win the game, and of course it's exciting. You play for those moments. For me, I got to experience that with all the fans at home, it was just surreal. I had a lot of fun."
On pumping up the crowd before penalty kicks:
"Yeah, I thought it was an appropriate time to do that, so it was really great. The fans we have were behind us the whole time. I thought I'd use that to our advantage."
On traffic in front of the net:
"Yeah I don't want to make too many comments now. For me, what was important was how I reacted, and I think I did that well. Of course the game's 90 minutes, 120 minutes sometimes, so you've got to just let it go and then continue on with the match."