VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (ACC: 2W-0L-2D) were denied a historic first Voyageurs Cup as Montreal Impact (ACC: 1W-1L-2D) twice fought back to draw 2-2 and take the 2013 Amway Canadian Championship on away goals.
Vancouver were dominant throughout and took only four minutes to open the scoring through Camilo. Montreal equalized just after halftime with a strike from Felipe Martins before Whitecaps FC regained the lead through Daigo Kobayashi.
In the end it wasn’t to be for the Blue and White as Hassoun Camara broke Vancouver hearts with a header goal six minutes from time.
The match got off to a frantic start and inside the first minute Vancouver nearly got an early goal as Camilo was played in. The ball was smothered by Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush before the Brazilian could get a shot away but the Impact couldn’t clear the danger as Whitecaps FC then had a couple of Gershon Koffie shots blocked.
Vancouver were pushing for an early goal and they wouldn’t be denied for long as Camilo was brought down well outside the area by Alessandro Nesta in the fourth minute. The striker dusted himself off to take the resulting free kick and hammered the ball from distance into the far top corner.
Despite dominating the opening exchanges, there was a let off for Whitecaps FC after nine minutes when Hassoun Camara headed in from a Justin Mapp free kick but the linesman had raised his flag for offside and the goal was disallowed.
Vancouver were in the ascendency and almost doubled their advantage after some good link up play between Russell Teibert and Koffie on the right. Teibert then charged towards goal and fired a shot on target that was punched out for a corner by Bush. From the resulting corner Camilo swung the ball into the box where it was met by Leveron, but the defender’s header crashed against the bar
There was another opportunity for the rampant home side on 23 minues, when Nigel Reo-Coker raced into the box, evading a couple of Montreal challenges, but his cutback was just too far in front of Miller who would have had a simple tap in for a second goal.
Vancouver continued to carve out opportunities and came close again in the 30th minute when Young-Pyo Lee sent in a teasing cross from the right that found Koffie wide open, but the Ghanaian headed clear of the crossbar.
A minute before halftime, 'Caps goalkeeper Brad Knighton punted the ball upfield and the ball looped over the defence for Miller to run onto. The striker controlled the ball and looked to bury it past Bush but Montreal's 'keeper stood firm and kept the ball out at the second attempt to keep the score at 1-0 in favour of Whitecaps FC going into the break.
Two minutes after halftime Miller set off on a storming run from inside the Vancouver half, beating several Montreal players before being forced out wide. The Scot laid the ball off to the supporting Camilo who took aim and sent an arrowed effort just wide of the far post.
Montreal went on the attack on 49 minutes and played the ball into the Vancouver box as Andrew Wenger attempted a shot. Before Wenger could get a shot away the ball was cleared out but only as far as Felipe Martins who struck a first time shot into the bottom corner of Knighton’s goal to level the scores at 1-1.
There was further bad news for Whitecaps FC in the 57th minute when a fairly innocuous looking challenge left Koffie needing treatment and the midfielder was eventually stretchered off, being replaced by Daigo Kobayashi.
Whitecaps FC almost got the second goal that their performance deserved on 62 minutes when Camilo quickly broke up field. The Brazilian got to the Montreal byline before cutting the ball back to Reo-Coker who in turn played a one-two with Teibert before putting a shot agonizingly wide of the far post.
They regained the lead on 69 minutes when a surging run forward from Reo-Coker down the right wing saw the Englishman cross to Kobayashi who buried the chance from close range on the second attempt after his first effort was partially blocked.
Vancouver continued pressing and nearly got a deserved third goal two minutes later when Teibert drove down the right and cut the ball back for Camilo who cracked a first time effort against the post from a tight angle.
The teams traded blows in the 73rd minute as first, Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio came close with a long range effort for Montreal before Whitecaps FC broke and Camilo also came close with a drive from distance.
There was another sight on goal for Vancouver on 79 minutes as some good approach play from Whitecaps FC resulted in a through ball from Reo-Coker to Camilo but the striker could only direct his shot into the side netting.
The drama was far from done though, and on 84 minutes Montreal broke clear with Di Vaio in on goal and looking certain to hit the target until a last ditch tackle from Andy O’Brien saw the ball go out for a corner. From the resulting set piece Mapp swung the ball in and defender Camara headed the ball across goal for Montreal’s second equalizer of the match.
With Whitecaps FC needing a winner to take the cup they were left exposed at the back and on 89 minutes Di Vaio found himself clear on goal. The striker was about to pull the trigger when Leveron executed a well-timed sliding tackle to deny the Italian.
With time running out Vancouver continued to create chances and on 91 minutes some good approach play from Teibert saw the winger cross from the right to Jordan Harvey who headed over with the goal at his mercy. Two minutes later Harvey almost made the breakthrough again as he linked up with Mattocks in the box but the substitute rifled his right footed shot just wide.
Whitecaps FC continued to press throughout injury time but could not force a winner as Montreal held on for the 2-2 draw to take the Voyageurs Cup on away goals.
Impact midfielder Justin Mapp was awarded the Amway Canadian Championship Most Valuable Player after assisting the match winning goal.
Vancouver have an immediate chance to bounce back as they return to MLS action on Saturday as they travel east face New York Red Bulls. Kickoff at Red Bull Arena is at 4 p.m. PT.