Toronto FC have retained the Voyageurs Cup, becoming Canadian Champions yet again on Wednesday night by defeating the Vancouver Whitecaps 5-2 at BMO Field for a 7-4 victory on aggregate.
It was an absolutely dominant performance from the Reds once they got going, but the night truly belonged to Jozy Altidore. The clutch big man more than made up for his sending off on the weekend by scoring a hat trick, ravaging the Whitecaps defence all night.
Altidore scored all his goals in close, putting his first one past Stefan Marinovic from a low angle after Marky Delgado played a sleek backheel to him in the box.
Just a nasty backheel from Marky Delgado and TFC are up 1-0. Some forgiveness for Altidore perhaps after that finish? #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/79OcqixUNw— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) August 16, 2018
The next TFC marker came from Sebastian Giovinco, who scored what must be the first headed goal in his career, off a perfect chipped cross by Jonathan Osorio. Seba is now alone in first place on the Canadian Championship’s all-time scoring leaderboard, by the way.
Sebastian Giovinco with the.... header? Anyways things are going well, thanks for asking. 2-0 pic.twitter.com/mY8kdqgFtn— Waking the Red (@WakingtheRed) August 16, 2018
After halftime, TFC came out strong again, and Altidore put another two past Marinovic within the first 15 minutes of the half. First, he tapped in a low cross from Seba:
Jozy. Seba. Then Seba to Jozy, tonight is shaping up real nicely. pic.twitter.com/oCyXZqRakD— Waking the Red (@WakingtheRed) August 16, 2018
Then, he decided to recreate a goal from the 2016 playoffs with a near-post header off a corner:
Pretty much the exact same goal TFC scored against the Impact in the 2016 conference finals. Jozy with the near post header. 4-0 Toronto FC. #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/dNxPOnhQgy— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) August 16, 2018
Vancouver would add a consolation goal not long after as Kei Kamara scored on the break, and another in the 77th minute as Brek Shea bundles it over the goal line, but it was still TFC’s night all around. Tosaint Ricketts proved that in the 80th minute by scoring Toronto’s fifth of the evening, heading in a long free kick from Michael Bradley to put it to rest.
And... another for good measure. Ricketts with the header. #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/PAf3I0lhd1— Waking the Red (@WakingtheRed) August 16, 2018
The Reds have now secured their third straight Canadian Championship, as well as the right to represent the country in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.
It really was a splendid night all around for the Reds, who looked more confident than they have all season. It was as if the last few months hadn’t happened, and the 2017 version of TFC was out at BMO Field on Wednesday (even if Victor Vazquez was sidelined with injury).
All the props will go to Altidore tonight, and deservedly so, but credit must also go to Giovinco, who had two primary assists and a goal of his own in less than 70 minutes of work. Jay Chapman and Jonathan Osorio did extremely well too, providing some creative attacking sparks in midfield as well as top-notch Canadian content.
For one night, the Reds will be able to forget about their place in the MLS standings. They’re Canadian champions.