Toronto FC drew first blood in the Voyageurs Cup final, but only managed to deal a minor blow to the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps. The 1-0 win is a good result, but gives them only a slim lead going into the next match. There is plenty of work still to do before they lift the trophy.
Sebastian Giovinco had the only goal of the match off of a deflection, his first goal in this year's Voyageurs Cup tournament and ninth in all competitions. Clint Irwin held strong in the Toronto net to earn his third straight clean sheet.
The Whitecaps were the better team out of the gate, forcing an early save from Irwin. They continued to apply pressure as the game settled down, although neither team created very many chances in what was a slow first half. For Toronto, it was an improvement over the last time the Whitecaps visited when they were scored on twice early in the match.
Toronto FC caught a lucky break late in the half when Mo Babouli found Giovinco at the top of the Vancouver Whitecaps box. The Italian's shot was deflected by a Whitecaps defender and fooled Paolo Tornaghi in the Whitecaps net to put Toronto up 1-0. It was Giovinco's first goal since Toronto FC player the Whitecaps in MLS play.
The goal seemed to inspire the club forward as the started the second half on the front foot, consistently attacking the pinned back Vancouver Whitecaps. They had several quality scoring chances, all of which would ultimatley go to waste. The Whitecaps provided very little in response, struggling to get up the field.
Giovinco came close to getting his second in the 53rd minute when he smashed the ball off of the post from a long ranged effort. The atomic ant appeared to be fully recovered from his adductor injury as he was a threat to the Whitecaps all night long.
Toronto FC tried desperately to add to their lead going into Vancouver next week, bringing on Tsubasa Endoh and Jordan Hamilton to try and get another goal. They failed to find a breakthrough, however, as they will travel to Vancouver with a narrow lead.
Toronto FC has not lost in its last four matches. The second, and difinitive, leg of the competition will take place at BC Place on Wednesday the 29th. A win or a draw well see them win their first Canadian Championship since 2012, and their fifth all time. Before that they are back in MLS action, however, they take on Orlando City SC on Saturday.