It was the final leg of the Canadian Championship final and the Whitecaps needed to win by two goals to win the Voyageurs Cup after dropping the first leg 1-0 to TFC. Carl Robinson fielded a strong lineup with David Ousted in goal for the first time in the tournament. Tim Parker started at RB while Andrew Jacobson and Kendall Waston defended at CB and Jordan Harvey on the left. Matias Laba and Canadian, Russel Teibert stood in front of the back line, Bolaños, Morales and Manneh led the attack with Erik Hurtado getting yet another start up top.
The game began with a few fruitless forays forward for the ‘Caps until they fell into an all too familiar stretch where they could not get back the ball, and when they did, they gave it right back. The first half lurched along like that with few highlights until Waston charged back to defend a long ball over the top by shoulder barging his opponent head over heals off the ball. Not surprisingly, it resulted in a yellow card and you have to wonder if he just used his body to get in the way without trying to take out the man he could get away with those last ditch defensive plays. The Whitecaps began to see more of the ball as the half neared its close. Laba found the ball bounce at his feet in the final minutes of the half with no one but the keeper in front of him... Be a Hero Laba!... only to fire the ball close enough to Toronto's keeper so he could parry it away. Ousted saw the half out with a couple timely saves and Teibert went down after charging back to make a timely tackle in front of his box. He got back up after a knock on the leg, but that would be the end of a good game for him, full of hustle. The ‘Caps go into half time 0-0 and still down 1-0 on aggregate.
The second half begins with Nicolas Mezquida replacing Teibert and he immediately rewards the coach with a headed goal off a Harvey cross tying the series on aggregate. The crowd goes wild. The ‘Caps continue to pressure until Laba sends forward a ball from centre field on a broken play. Parker takes it off the chest in the box just ahead of the defensive line and slots into the lower right corner. The crowd loses their collective mind. The ‘Caps now have their two goal lead to win the tournament. Toronto amps up their attack but cannot make much happen. At the 70 minute mark Robbo makes his second substitution to preserve the lead and bring the game home, he brings off Manneh and replaces him with... fifteen year old Alphonso Davies? This is a gutsy move to be sure, and not exactly a defensive one either. Davies would not disappoint, the young man charged up the left wing time and again, sometimes getting past defenders, making crosses and smart plays to tie the ball up along the side line. He even had a sight on goal as Mezquida found him with a ball that got past the defense sending him in on the keeper. He got too close to get a good shot but he was a danger.
The time ticks down and Blas Perez who entered the game in the 83rd minute rings a ball off the far post. So close to a game deciding third goal, but its ok, the ‘Caps were still up 2-0. All they had to do was see the score out and they were keeping Toronto from getting many dangerous scoring chances. As the game moved into stoppage time the ‘Caps turned back wave after wave of searching Toronto runs and balls. They cleared what seemed like all of Toronto's corners in those final minutes and deeeeeeeep into stoppage time Toronto played in what had to be their final hopeful ball. The fans are in full voice, "We Stand and Sing, For Victory." Once again, for the second straight year Vancouver was going to win the Canadian Championship at home and the stands are going crazy. The hopeful ball comes into the box and Ousted runs forward to meet it. Not a red shirt in sight and the ball is sailing victoriously towards Ousted's outstretched hands, until Waston backs into Ousted at the critical moment. The two collide and the ball falls to the feet of Will Johnson who puts the ball in the back of the net.
19,376 chests are ripped open simultaneously as their hearts slip limp and lifeless to the floor. (Yes, I know there were thirteen TFC fans in the stands, but screw them.)
Vancouver wins the game. The two leg series is tied. And Toronto wins the Voyageurs Cup.