Vancouver takes down Toronto FC in Canadian Championship to win Voyageurs Cup

Tristan Blackmon scored and the Vancouver Whitecaps won the Canadian Championship on Tuesday, beating Toronto FC 5-3 on penalties in the final.

It’s just the second time the `Caps have hoisted the Voyageurs Cup following their victory in 2015.

Brian White scored for Vancouver in the 19th minute, heading in a cross from Ryan Gauld.

Toronto equalized in the 75th minute when Lukas MacNaughton directed in a ball from Federico Bernardesci.

Toronto dominated 71.2 per cent of the possession and outshot the home side 18-14, including 6-5 in on-target shots, but `Caps goalkeeper Cody Cropper came up big with five saves.

Alex Bono made four saves for TFC, which has won the Canadian Championship eight times in its history.

The Whitecaps beat Canadian Premier League clubs Valour FC, Cavalry FC and York United to earn a spot in the final.

Toronto had a bye in the first round, then downed the CPL’s Halifax Wanderers and Major League Soccer’s CF Montreal.

Canadian Championship decided by penalty kicks

With the score knotted at 1-1 after 90 minutes of play, Tuesday’s game went to a penalty shootout.

Gauld was up first for the ‘Caps and the Scottish designated player sent a shot sailing into the top corner of the net.

Domenico Criscito took the first kick for Toronto and fired a ball past Cropper.

White then stutter stepped to fake out Bono and blasted a low shot into the right corner.

Toronto’s Jordan Peruzza took advantage of Cropper’s early dive on the next attempt and put a ball into the opposite side of the goal.

Wingback Julian Gressel took the third shot for Vancouver, hitting Bono’s outstretched hand as he fired a shot into the corner.

Next, Cropper stopped a low shot by Canadian Jonathan Osorio to give the ‘Caps an edge.

Vancouver’s designated player Andres Cubas followed the save with a blast past Bono.

Federico Bernardeschi kept Toronto’s hopes alive, patiently waiting for his shot then rolling a ball into the net.

But it was Blackmon who scored the game-clincher. The crowd erupted as the ‘Caps defender fired a quick shot past Bono for the victory.

Toronto FC dominates possession

Former Toronto FC striker Tosaint Ricketts looked poised to give the Whitecaps the win in the 80th minute when he got a ball from White deep in the box. His shot hit Bono’s hand and skittered wide of the post.

Toronto buried the equalizer in the 75th minute.

Jayden Nelson chipped a short pass to Bernardeschi at the top of the box and the Italian sent a cross in deep. MacNaughton rose from the pack and put a header in past Cropper to tie the score at 1-1.

Cropper kept the ‘Caps ahead in the 60th minute, stretching out to turn away a shot from Toronto star Lorenzo Insigne.

Toronto dominated 71.3 per cent of the possession through the first half but it was Vancouver that had the better chances, outshooting the visitors 9-8. Both sides had four shots on target.

The ‘Caps appeared to be in trouble in the 37th minute when Toronto won a free kick from outside the penalty area. Isigne took the kick, sending a right-footed shot well over the Vancouver net.

Vancouver got on the board in the 19th minute following a corner.

Gauld sent a cross into White at the back post and the American striker directed a header toward the net, hitting Bono’s left hand on the way in. The goal gave the ‘Caps a 1-0 lead.

Lucas Cavallini nearly got the scoring started just 35 seconds into the game. Gauld delivered a ball into the box and the Canadian striker sent a low shot to the bottom left corner of the net, only to see Bono dive to make the stop.

The Whitecaps will be back in action on Saturday when they visit Nashville SC. Toronto FC will take on the Revolution in New England the same night.

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