After a wild game at BMO Field on Wednesday night, Montreal Impact were crowned the winners of the 2019 Voyageurs Cup by virtue a penalty shootout.
Toronto FC were the better team in the first half, with Richie Laryea and Alejandro Pozuelo among several players who had a great opening 45 minutes. The Reds were unable to find the back of the net, however, leaving Toronto with just one half to salvage a result.
After a strong start to the second period of play, in which they came within inches of finding the back of the net, Montreal thought they had a penalty, as Toronto FC defender Auro Jr. appeared to punch the ball out of play. From the referee’s angle, it probably looked as though the Brazilian headed it away, but as you can see, that wasn’t the case.
In the 70th minute, Toronto FC finally found their goal. Tsubasa Endoh, who has been red-hot recently, pounced on a loose ball and fired it through Montreal goalkeeper Clement Diop. The ball squeezed past Diop for Endoh’s third goal in the last 10 days (three in three games).
With about five minutes left in the match and Lassi Lappalainen bearing down on goal, Chris Mavinga made the necessary decision to commit a “professional foul”. He picked up a red card for it, but prevented the Finnish midfielder from having an open shot on goal. As you will probably remember, it was also Mavinga who committed the foul that lead to LAFC’s equalizing penalty on the weekend.
Red card for @TorontoFC @Chris_Mavinga takes down Lappalainen on the breakaway... TFC will play a man down for the remaining six minutes of regular time.— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) September 26, 2019
TFC 1 - 0 MTL ⚪️#CanChamp | #TORvsMTL | #CanChampxOneSoccer pic.twitter.com/Je47OtfmoR
The ensuing free kick for Montreal came to nothing. Ignacio Piatti, who was named tournament MVP after the match, came close to finding the back of the net with a long-distance strike moments later, but it rattled the crossbar.
Both sides threw everything at each other in the final moments of the match, but the two sides required penalties to determine the winner, something that has never happened before in the Canadian Championship final.
Toronto FC went into penalties with a poor record in cup final shootouts, but were looking to finally break the curse.
After Alejandro Pozuelo stepped up and scored the first spot-kick, hopes were high for TFC fans, but after Bojan converted his effort, it all went downhill for Toronto. Altidore’s shot came back off the bar and Patrick Mullins had his quick kick stopped, while ex-Red Daniel Lovitz and Rudy Camacho found the back of the net for Montreal.
After a quiet first half, Canadian International Jonathan Osorio stepped up with the game on the line, but taking the team’s final penalty, his shot ricocheted off the post, seeing Montreal lift their first Voyageurs Cup since 2014. Toronto FC have now lost their last three final penalty shootouts (2016 MLS Cup, 2018 Champions League and now 2019 Canadian Championship).