Toronto FC has won their fifth Voyageurs Cup, but not without leaving it until the very last minute. Will Johnson scored in the last seconds of added time to make the score 2-1 for the Vancouver Whitecaps. It was that away goal tonight at BC Place, however, that saw Toronto FC win the trophy as a result of the 2-2 aggregate score.
Johnson's late goal stunned a BC Place crowd that had all but accepted the Whitecaps had won their second straight championship. Tim Parker and Nicolas Mezquida scored the goals for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Looking to protect their slim lead, it was Toronto FC who came out looking to set the pace of the game early. Will Johnson and Benoit Cheyrou controlled the midfield as they choreographed a number of short passes through the midfield.
They never really pressed forward much or threatened David Ousted in the Vancouver goal. But they stopped the Whitecaps from doing the same to Alex Bono, and that was the primary mission in this match. Bono looked shaky on early touches of the ball, but Toronto made it so that he didn't have much to deal with in the early part of the game.
With halftime approaching, the Vancouver Whitecaps seemed to wake up and brought the ball forward with more intent. Toronto's defensive shape stayed strong, however, it looked far less secure than in the opening minutes. This allowed Matias Laba a scoring chance late in the half, only to be denied by Bono.
The save meant Toronto FC going into halftime with the match still tied 0-0. Having won their home leg 1-0 at BMO Field, Toronto was 45 minutes away from winning their fifth Canadian Championship.
All that work would be undone quickly in the second half, however, as a long ball found the head of the substitute Mezquida in the box. Toronto FC was caught ball watching, and the Caps attacker found the back of the net past Alex Bono to make it 1-0 in the match, and 1-1 on aggregate.
An away goal would still have put the tie away for Toronto FC, and they almost got it in the 59th minute when Mo Babouli collected the ball at the top of the box and fired from long range. His shot was stopped by the fingertips of David Ousted, however.
It was Vancouver who doubled their lead in the match, however, in the 68th minute when the aftermath of a corner kick led to Parker being played in behind. It was a very similar goal to the first, with Toronto's defence being caught on the wrong side of the attacker.
After a number of Toronto FC attacks hardly tested David Ousted, and Blas Perez hit the post at the other end, it looked like a foregone conclusion that the Whitecaps would cruise to victory. But on one last hail mary play, the ball would fall to Johnson in the box. The Toronto midfielder hit it into the top of the net before toppling over David Ousted and injuring himself.
The leg injury would mute what would have been wild celebrations from the Toronto FC players, but the fact remained: Toronto FC had somehow clawed back to win the 2016 Voyageurs Cup.