Toronto FC advance to Championship final

Impact Montréal FC 0:0 Toronto FC

Toronto FC have advanced to the final of the 2016 Amway Canadian Championship. The Toronto club won their semi finals series 4-2, eliminating Impact Montréal FC after a home 4:2 win on 1 June and away 0:0 draw on 8 June.

Toronto FC will face Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the Championship final. Both legs of the 2016 Amway Canadian Championship final will be broadcast on TSN, with the first leg on 21 June in Toronto and the second leg on 29 June in Vancouver.

Toronto FC are four-time national champions, having won four-straight editions of the Amway Canadian Championship from 2009 to 2012. Toronto most recently reached the national final in 2014, but lost the two-leg series to Montréal. Before this year, Toronto had been eliminated in three-straight head-to-head series by Montréal from 2013 to 2015.

“I’m pleased,” said Greg Vanney, head coach of Toronto FC. “We came here with a two-goal lead, so our intentions were not just to sit back and defend, but also to try to play. If we could get to halftime even or up one, that was our first objective. We knew that, in the second half, if they hadn’t scored and hadn’t brought the number down a little bit, they would throw numbers forward.”

In the first leg of the 2016 semi finals, Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton each scored a brace for Toronto FC, but then Michael Salazar and Didier Drogba cut the lead in half. Hamilton and Drogba were selected stars of the match.

In the second leg, no goals were scored as Eric Kronberg (Montréal) and Clint Irwin (Toronto) posted clean sheets. Michael Salazar (Montréal) and Benoît Cheyrou (Toronto) were selected stars of the match. Of note from the series, Montréal were twice reduced to 10 men, with Patrice Bernier ejected in the 45th minute of the first leg on 1 June and Lucas Ontivero ejected in the 60th minute of the second leg on 8 June.

“The first game in Toronto was a disappointing result, even though we did come back,” said Mauro Biello, head coach of Impact Montréal FC. “It was a game where we could have done better. If you find that first goal, it’s different, because the momentum swings and they start getting a little nervous. The longer it stayed 0-0, the more difficult it was.”

The Amway Canadian Championship is Canada Soccer’s professional competition featuring clubs from Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal. The national champion lifts the Voyageurs Cup and wins Canada’s lone spot in CONCACAF Champions League on the road to the FIFA Club World Cup.

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