Toronto FC was defeated 5-3 on penalties by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2022 Canadian Championship Final at BC Place on Tuesday night.
After a 1-1 scoreline following 90 minutes of play, the match went straight to a penalty shootout, as it did in June when Toronto FC beat Forge to the 2020 title.
From the get go, the game plan from Vanni Sartini’s side was to stay organized defensively, and hit Toronto on the counter. Alex Bono was tested early, with Lucas Cavallini’s shot on target in the first minute kicked out by the TFC goalkeeper.
It was then a tame start to the match after that first chance. Vancouver were making sure to surround Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi with bodies so that they didn’t have enough time or space to create chances in what was a quiet first half for the designated players in their first away match for their new club.
Changing the look of the match would be Brian White, who scored the opener in the 19th minute. After Toronto failed to properly clear a corner kick, the ball found its way to Ryan Gauld who sent a cross on the half volley to White at the back post. Kosi Thompson lost his man and Bono was then unable to keep the header out.
Following the goal, the Reds would dominate possession in the first half, working the ball in and around the Whitecaps box but ultimately unable to really challenge Cody Cropper in the Vancouver goal.
The home side would finish the half in style, piling a bit of pressure on the Toronto backline. In the 46th minute, Andres Cubas sent a deep cross into the path of Hamilton native Ryan Raposo, who kicked it across the face of the goal, rolling just past the post.
With a trophy on the line, TFC would have to pick it up in the second half.
Jayden Nelson had a good chance to tie things up in the 49th when the ball fortunately dropped his way inside the penalty area. His scooped shot travelled just wide of the mark with Cropper rooted to the spot.
Eventually, the pressure from the away side would pay off. From a short corner routine, Bernardeschi hit an outside of the boot cross right to Lukas MacNaughton, who would get his head on it, scoring his first goal for the club and making it a 1-1 game in the 75th.
The Caps then had one more great chance to find a winning goal and send over 20,000 into a frenzy. Breaking with speed on the counter in the 80th minute, White would square the ball to the trailing Tosaint Ricketts. His shot from point-blank range was read perfectly by Bono, who dove left and made a big stop for his team, denying the former Red who netted the winner in the last MLS match between these two sides.
Heading into kicks from the spot, Toronto would be without Lorenzo Insigne, who was substituted out of the game in the 88th minute.
After new signing Julian Gressel put away his penalty to make it 3-2, up stepped Toronto FC legend Jonathan Osorio. Osorio’s low shot to the left glided onto the post and out. Bernardeschi would score a perfect penalty to keep his side in it, making it 4-3 in the shootout. But with the chance to call game, Tristan Blackmon slotted his effort straight down the middle as Bono dived left.
The Vancouver Whitecaps thus claimed their second Voyageurs Cup and will be the Canadian representative in the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League.
Toronto FC has now fallen at the last hurdle the 2021 and 2022 Canadian Championship finals to Montreal and Vancouver, respectively. The club’s all-time record in the final of the competition drops to 8-5.
The Reds return to MLS action in their next match, going up agianst Jozy Altidore and the New England Revolution in Foxborough on Saturday night.