The championship table is set: two-time defending champion Toronto FC will meet two-time runner-up Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship final series. The two teams will meet in a home-and-away series scheduled for 18 and 25 May, with times yet to be announced.
The championship table is set: two-time defending champion Toronto FC will meet two-time runner-up Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship final series. The two teams will meet in a home-and-away series scheduled for 18 and 25 May, with the first match set for Vancouver and the return leg set for Toronto.
Both matches from the championship final will also be featured live in high definition on Rogers Sportsnet (channels and times to be announced). The matches will also be broadcast live on Sportsnet.ca.
Toronto FC was the first to win its semi-final series, knocking off FC Edmonton by an aggregate score of 4-0. Toronto FC won 3:0 on the road (27 April) and then 1:0 at home (4 May). Toronto FC is now unbeaten in seven-straight Championship matches dating back to 2009. It has not allowed a goal in six-straight Championship matches dating back to last year.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC then won the second semi-final series, but not before it was forced into extra time by visiting Impact Montréal. Vancouver won the first match 1:0 (27 April), but then the Impact tied the series on aggregate with an 83rd minute penalty strike courtesy Ali Gerba (4 May). In extra time to decide a series winner, Vancouver’s Mouloud Akloul scored off a rebound following a Alain Rochat free kick.
Gerba nearly scored on a header in the last minute, but the ball rolled just wide of Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly. Had Gerba scored, Montréal would have won the series (based on scoring more away goals) and advanced to the final.
The 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship featured four teams for the first time in tournament history. As such, the old round-robin system was replaced by two semi-final series followed by a championship final series. The Canadian champion wins the Voyageurs Cup and qualifies for 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.
Since 2008, Vancouver leads the head-to-head competition with two wins, three draws and one loss in six Nutrilite Canadian Championship matches. Vancouver also won the inaugural Major League Soccer match-up between the two sides earlier this season.
Otherwise, Whitecaps FC were the only team not to win the Championship in the first three seasons. Vancouver finished second in both 2009 and 2010, despite going unbeaten in 2010 and losing just one match in 2009. Toronto FC, meanwhile, won the Nutrilite Canadian Championship in each of the last two seasons.
The 18 May match will be played at Empire Field in Vancouver, BC. The 25 May finale will be played at BMO Field in Toronto, ON.
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