After the exciting announcement of Alphonso Davies’ MLS record transfer fee to Bayern Munich earlier in the day, the Vancouver Whitecaps had to play the second leg of the Voyageurs Cup (Canadian Championship) semi-final. The Whitecaps were coming off a disappointing week in which they looked unable to
Knowing the Whitecaps needed a multiple-goal win, Carl Robinson fielded a strong lineup, with the majority of the Starting XI being starters for MLS matches. If the Caps were unable to win this one, the lineup choices could not be used as an excuse.
Lining up in a 4-4-1-1 tonight #CanChamp #VWFC pic.twitter.com/jq29IQCUa9— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) July 26, 2018
Despite starting strong, the Montreal Impact had the first opportunity, and should have sealed the match early, but for some reason Mancosu decided to note finish the play.
16' Annnnnndd breathe!!!!#VWFC #CanChamp pic.twitter.com/LEt9SYAxmM— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) July 26, 2018
The Whitecaps were able to take advantage of that miscue, and take a 1-0 lead shortly after, thanks to a lovely goal from Yordy Reyna. The goal was setup by Jake Nerwinski, who just prior had clattered heads with Daniel Lovetz, but was quick to get back up and get in a position to deliver a fantastic ball into the box, to draw the tie even at 1-1.
A closer look at Reyna's opener. #VWFC #CanChamp pic.twitter.com/dAiTp3cSIv— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) July 26, 2018
In the 31st minute, it looked like Brek Shea, who had his best game this season, had put the Caps up 2-0, but his shot was smashed off the outside netting.
31' Shea smashes one but it hits the side netting. 'Caps creating all the chances in the first half. pic.twitter.com/nyuxw5xNvE— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) July 26, 2018
Heading into the break, the Whitecaps were looking strong and comfortable, with the Impact having difficulties getting out of their own end and sustaining any pressure. It was actually looking like a competitive Whitecaps team; something we have not been able to say much of recent.
Don’t want to jinx it, but this has actually resembled decent football so far from the Caps #VWFC— Eighty Six Forever (@86forever) July 26, 2018
Is this what optimism feels like? #VWFC pic.twitter.com/XL66cfhHJa— Eighty Six Forever (@86forever) July 26, 2018
There was optimism in Whitecaps land...but of course, in Whitecaps land, that optimism is only thinly veiled. However, de Jong helped to maintain the optimism, drawing an important penalty that would be converted by Kei Kamara in the 60th minute. The goal gave the Whitecaps a 2-0 lead in the match and the more important 2-1 lead on aggregate in the tie.
GOOOAAALLLLLL!!!!!!! Kei converts the PK and the 'Caps take the aggregate lead.— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) July 26, 2018
2-0 | Agg: 2-1 | #VWFC | #CanChamp pic.twitter.com/ry2l78KrA9
Of course, if Montreal scored one goal in the last 30 minutes, they would advance. While you don’t want to be negative, it isn’t like Caps fans haven’t seen their hopes dashed in the last seconds of the Voyageurs Cup before…
That fear might have been heightened in the 86th minute, when Diop made a fantastic save on Techera. Then the Whitecaps drove a ball at Diop, who quickly fired it down-field for his club. Uh oh! Was it happening again?
Wow! Fantastic save from Diop. Not sure I ever thought I’d say that. #VWFC— Eighty Six Forever (@86forever) July 26, 2018
No, this year was different, and the Whitecaps were able to hold on to the 2-0 lead to win the tie 2-1 on aggregate. They will now face Toronto FC, who easily moved past Ottawa Fury 4-0 on aggregate, on August 8th and then again on August 15th.
Semifinal ✅— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) July 26, 2018
#VWFC #CanChamp pic.twitter.com/v2iv18gbrM
You all know what this is leading up to right? Alphonso Davies scoring the Voyageurs Cup winning goal in Toronto…assisted by Doneil Henry!
What was your take on the match?