Amway Canadian Championship: Whitecaps FC advance to final with 2-0 second leg win
VANCOUVER, BC – After a 3-2 win in the first leg, Vancouver Whitecaps FC finished the job in their 2013 Amway Canadian Championship semifinal with a 2-0 victory in the second leg at BC Place on Wednesday. The victory secured a 5-2 aggregate win in the series, thus advancing the 'Caps to the finals.
Highlights: Whitecaps FC 2-0 FC Edmonton
Vancouver will face Montreal Impact in the final after the Quebec side recovered from their 2-0 first leg defeat against Toronto FC to beat their Eastern counterparts 6-0 in the second leg at Stade Saputo on Wednesday.
Coach Martin Rennie made six changes from the side that started the weekend draw against FC Dallas. Among those coming into the side were centre back Johnny Leveron, making his first start at BC Place, and Brad Knighton, making a second straight tournament start between the posts.
Whitecaps FC controlled the early play and there was almost an opening on six minutes as a ball up field from Greg Klazura was knocked on by Camilo into the path of Tommy Heinemann, but the big striker could only steer his shot wide of the post after he got through on goal.
The 'Caps came close again on 25 minutes when a good spell of pressure culminated in Russell Teibert playing the ball to Camilo in space in the box but the Brazilian’s shot was straight at Lance Parker and the Edmonton 'keeper produced a comfortable save.
Gershon Koffie set off on a surging run through the centre on 31 minutes and had the composure to play the ball through the FC Edmonton defence to the onrushing Darren Mattocks. The striker’s first time effort beat Parker but thundered back off the near post to keep the match scoreless.
Whitecaps FC broke again on the counterattack on 39 minutes with Mattocks winning the ball on the right wing. The Jamaican laid the ball off to the imperious Koffie who strode through the midfield and unleashed a spectacular effort that sailed just wide of Parker’s left post.
There was a clear opening a minute before halftime for Vancouver as Heinemann got the better of the FC Edmonton defender wide on the left and cut the ball across the face of goal to Mattocks. The striker made contact but saw his shot loop over the goal past the far post as the teams went into the break with the match goalless.
Whitecaps FC made a promising start to the second half when on 48 minutes Camilo cut in from the left and tested Parker from long range. The shot looked comfortable for the Edmonton 'keeper but he spilled the ball round the post, barely avoiding an opening goal. From the resulting corner Teibert played a one-two to make himself space outside the box and sent a driving shot just past the near post.
FC Edmonton were reduced to 10 men on 51 minutes as Teibert sent a searching pass forward which substitute Corey Hertzog raced onto. The striker was clear on goal but hauled down by defender Adrian Leroy giving the referee no choice but to send off the Edmonton player. The resulting free kick was fired into the wall by Camilo and Heinemann couldn’t direct the loose ball on target.
The scoring was opened in spectacular fashion on 58 minutes as a high ball was headed down by Teibert into the path of Hertzog. The striker took aim from well outside the area and produced a powerful shot that flew past Parker into the bottom corner.
The lead was doubled on 67 as minutes as a Teibert corner from the left was headed by FC Edmonton substitute Shaun Saiko past his own goalkeeper.
Knighton got his first real test on 70 minutes as a rare foray in Vancouver’s half for Edmonton resulted in the scorer of the own goal, Saiko, almost making amends immediately as he tried his luck from long range but found his shot comfortably saved by the Whitecaps FC 'keeper.
The Blue and White came close to extending their lead in the 81st minute as another corner from Teibert was swung into the box with Erik Hurtado getting his head on it. The young rookie headed the ball into the turf and over the bar.
Two minutes later Vancouver had another opportunity as first Koffie had a shot blocked in the box with the ball then falling for Andy O’Brien whose close range header drew an acrobatic save from Parker to keep the score at 2-0.
With the match opening up, FC Edmonton almost grabbed a consolation goal on 84 minutes as Saiko found himself alone deep in the Vancouver half. The young striker tried a shot past O’Brien but Knighton reacted well to keep the strike out.
Vancouver saw out the final ten minutes to confirm a 2-0 victory on the night and a 5-2 aggregate score to take them through to the final where they will meet Montreal Impact. After an industrious display in midfield for Whitecaps FC, Russell Teibert was named as the Budweiser Man of the Match.
Whitecaps FC now look ahead to a third consecutive Amway Canadian Championship final since the tournament switched to a knockout format in 2011.
For the first time in those three finals, the ‘Caps will face Montreal. The Impact will host the first leg at Stade Saputo on May 15 before Vancouver host the second decisive leg at BC Place on May 29.
Tickets to the Amway Canadian Championship final second leg go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, May 2, at 12 p.m. PT on ticketmaster.ca/whitecapsfc.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Russell Teibert
Referee: Geoff Gamble
58' - VAN - Corey Hertzog (Russell Teibert)
67' - EDM - Shaun Saiko (own goal)
Shots: Vancouver 23 - Edmonton 9
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 8 - Edmonton 4
Saves: Vancouver 4 - Edmonton 6
Fouls: Vancouver 9 - Edmonton 9
Offsides: Vancouver 3 - Edmonton 0
Corners: Vancouver 8 - Edmonton 3
51' - EDM - Adrian Leroy
Vancouver Whitecaps FC:
18. Brad Knighton; 32. Greg Klazura, 40. Andy O’Brien, 16. Johnny Leveron, 2. Jordan Harvey; 28. Gershon Koffie, 27. Jun Marques Davidson, 7. Camilo Sanvezzo (23. Kekuta Manneh 61’), 31. Russell Teibert; 29. Tom Heinemann (19. Erik Hurtado 74’), 11. Darren Mattocks (26. Corey Hertzog 45’)
Substitutes not used:
39. Simon Thomas, 4. Alain Rochat, 13. Nigel Reo-Coker, 14. Daigo Kobayashi
1. Lance Parker; 3. Eddie Edward, Mallan Roberts, 20. Adrain Leroy, 24. Antonio Rago; 7. Chris Nurse, 4. Neil Hlavaty, 18. Robert Garrett, 22. Michael Nonni (16. Daryl Fordyce 45’), 21. Massimo Mirabelli (10. Shaun Saiko 59’); 9. Michael Cox (6. Sadi Jalali 71’)
Substitutes not used:
23. John Smits, , 11. Elvir Gigolaj, 12. Hanson Boakai, , 26. Edem Mortotsi