The Vancouver Whitecaps vs Toronto FC was able to lift a trophy for their supporters after a 5-3 victory on penalty kicks. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw in front of over 24, 000 fans at BC Place. The additional 5 minutes of stoppage time wasn’t enough to settle things and it came down to spot kicks. Cody Cropper was able to leave no room for Jonathon Osorio and he rang it off the post and Vancouver was able to end the night on a positive note celebrating with the supporters.
And what a celebration it was! Let’s check out the lineups and the action before we go over anything else.
Lineups, News, and Notes For Whitecaps Vs Toronto FC
The Vancouver Whitecaps would start with a strong lineup for Tuesday night against Toronto FC. Vanni Sartini and company would field a strong lineup against Toronto FC. The usual 3-4-1-2 formation with Cody Cropper getting the start in between the sticks for Vancouver. Tristan Blackmon, Ranko Veselinovic, and Jake Nerwinski would start at the back with Ryan Raposo and Cristian Dajome out on the wings.
Canadian Captain Russell Teibert would get the start in the middle of the pitch with Andres Cubas. Ryan Gauld would slot into his normal number 10 role with Lucas Cavallini and Brian White at the top of the formation.
Jayden Nelson, Michael Bradley, and Jonathon Osorio would patrol the midfield with Lorenzo Insigne, Jesús Jiménez, and Federico Bernardeschi up top for the visiting side.
Gauld And White Connect For A 1-0 Whitecaps Lead After The 1st Half
The Whitecaps would come out flying to start the match and almost scored an early goal as Cavallini was set up by Ryan Gauld with a nice cutback. Bono had to come up big to make the save early and the Caps won an early corner kick. It was delivered but too close to Bono and he was able to grab the ball and stop the danger. Toronto would come right back and work the ball down the left side, a heavy pass, and Cropper had to come off his line and clear it out for a throw.
Vancouver would control the play as the match moved into the 4th minute. They would play a ball too close to Bono and he was able to slow things down for the visiting side. It was short-lived as Vancouver would win the ball back to loud applause from the crowd. The teams would trade possession as the match started to settle down from the exciting start. Toronto would settle in and try and work it down the right side but the pass was heavy and ran right to Cody Cropper.
Things remained scoreless as the match moved past the 10th minute of play. Toronto would control play and try and find space in the middle of the pitch but Andres Cubas did well too break up the play before Vancouver would win a throw. Both sides would trade turnovers before TFC would make a nice pass into the box. Vancouver was able to defend it well and clear the ball back to the half. Vancouver was waiting to pounce on the counterattack and had a great chance in the 16th minute but the cut back from Cavallini was defended well by Toronto and cleared.
Some nice work by the home side down the right side would win them a deep throw. Javain Brown would put it into the box and Bono was forced to clear it out for a corner kick. The initial corner from Gauld was cleared but only as far as Cubas. It would come back to Gauld on the right side and he would float in a perfect ball for Brian White at the back post. White made no mistake with the header and gave Vancouver the 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
Toronto would try and weather the storm but Vancouver was definitely the more aggressive team. Anything Toronto FC tried to get into the box was cleared away by Ranko Veselinovic, Nerwinski, or Blackmon. Toronto would try and connect with Nelson on an overlapping run in the 25th minute but the ball was too heavy and rolled right to Cropper. The Whitecaps would control play and try to spring Ryan Gauld down the right side but he was offside and the ball would go back to TFC.
The visiting side would regain possession and try their luck down the left side with Domenico but his cross was well over everyone’s head in the box. The second phase would eventually be wasted and come right to Cropper. He has a brilliant distribution to find Raposo streaking down the left side of the pitch. He was able to cut back and fire a shot in on Bono who had to be sharp to dive out and make the save. the rebound would go just past White and Toronto was able to avoid going down 2-0.
Some nice passing would lead to a shot from distance for Insigne but it was right into the chest of Cropper in the 30th minute. The play would resume and the Whitecaps would move quickly and win a free kick in the attacking half. Ryan Raposo was taken down by Jonathan Osorio and Vancouver could bring players forward. Gauld would try for a goal with the ball just going over the top of the net and not troubling The TFC Keeper. Vancouver would stay on the front foot and come back on the attack in the 35th minute.
Ryan Gauld would win the ball in his own end and pick out White with a nice pass. He was slowed up but the ball would find its way to Dajome on the right side of the box. He would have a go from distance but his shot was well wide of the mark and would go out for a Toronto goal kick. Toronto would regain some momentum as they would win a free-kick in the 37th minute after * was hauled down by *. It was too far out for a shot but that didn’t stop Insigne from trying anyways and blasting it over everyone and into the stands.
The play would be halted in the 38th minute after Bono and Cavallini collided trying to get to a loose ball. The teams would hydrate before the play would resume. It was back and forth action with the Caps trying to go over the top of Toronto and set up Cava and White. Toronto would try and get into the dangerous area but the back three was doing a solid job of not allowing any space. Russell Teibert was also putting in some nice defensive work in the 1st half winning the ball back after being fouled by Jayden Nelson.
The Whitecaps would work the ball down the right side to the cheers of the BC Place fans but a cross was over the heads of everyone in the box and rolled all the way to Raposo. He tried to find Gauld but his shot was deflected. Vancouver would keep on the attack and win a corner in the 45th minute of play. Gauld would drive it to the near post but it was headed out for a throw by Toronto FC as the 4th official signaled 2 added minutes of stoppage time.
It would come across in the 2nd phase of the set piece but Raposo couldn’t get the ball on target. Toronto would move play back into the Whitecaps end but a shot from Bernardeschi was blocked before Toronto was called for offside. Cropper would kick it downfield as Pierre-Luc Lauziere would blow the whistle on the 1st half with the Whitecaps up 1-0.
TFC Would Respond In The 2nd Half
No changes from either side to start off the 2nd half as Toronto FC kicked things off attacking towards the “Southside”. A quick turnover and Raposo and Gauld would try and work down the left side but the cross from Gauld was long and went over White and out of touch for a goal kick. The play would go back and forth for the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half with Russell Teibert making his mark felt in the defensive end for the Caps. Toronto would win a deep throw in the 49th minute but the ensuing cross was cleared by Blackmon.
The ball would stay in the Vancouver box and eventually roll to Jayden Nelson who tried to chip it into the far post but his shot was wide and out for a goal kick. Vancouver was quite happy to let Toronto control the pace of play as they were able to keep their form tight at the back. TFC would work it around the outside in the 52nd minute but couldn’t find any space before a shot from Jimenez was deflected out for a corner kick.
It was driven into the near post and easily cleared out of touch for a throw. The Whitecaps were playing a dangerous game as Dajome would foul Insigne for a free kick before TFC attacked down the right side. Vancouver would force them back into their own end and continue to defend their 1-0 lead. Vancouver would get a chance to catch their breath in the 59th minute after Blackmon was taken down by Jesús Jiménez for a free kick.
Vanni Sartini would make the first substitution as Cristian Dajome would be replaced by Julian Gressel in the 62nd minute. Bob Bradley would also make a change by bringing on Ayo Akinola for Jimenez to try and give Toronto FC a spark off the bench. Vancouver was the team that seemed to get the spark as the BC Place fans were trying to push on their team. A great chance in the 65th minute but the shot from Cavallini was blocked and cleared by the visiting side before it could test Bono.
The play would move back into the Vancouver end but only as far as Ryan Raposo who seemed to block anything that was played into the middle. Toronto would continue to try and make space but Vancouver had other ideas and continued to clear the ball away from danger. Vancouver was able to rest and there was a hydration break after Michael Bradley was shown a yellow card in the 69th minute for hauling down Ryan Gauld. Toronto would continue to control possession but it was all very dictated by Vancouver.
Vanni Sartini would make his 2nd and 3rd substitutions in the 73rd minute as Tosaint Ricketts would come on to replace Lucas Cavallini and Micahel Baldisimo would replace Russell Teibert who had a solid match defensively. TFC would go on the attack and win a corner after a shot from Bernardeschi was deflected out for a corner kick. It was taken short and Bernardeschi was able to float in a beautiful ball for MacNaughton. He was able to head it down past Cody Cropper to tie the match up 1-1 in the 75th minute.
It woke the Whitecaps up who almost took the lead right back after a nice cross into the box. Gressel was able to find Brian White but his volley was wide and out for a goal kick. The Whitecaps would have an amazing chance to re-take the lead in the 81st minute but Tosaint Ricketts was robbed by the outstretched hand of Alex Bono. It was a brilliant save by the visiting keeper. Vancouver would make their 4th change in the 82nd minute bringing on Marcus Godinho for Raposo.
Toronto would also make changes before the corner kick replacing Shane O’Neil and Lukas Macnaughton with Doneil Henry and Chrys Mavinga in the 83rd minute. They would press forward and win a corner kick but it was cleared by Vancouver who tried to counter quickly. Gauld was able to float the ball across for Gressel but the German wasn’t able to get his volley down on the target. The noise would amp up with just 5 minutes plus stoppage time as the fans could sense an exciting finish.
Toronto would make their 4th change in the 87th minute bringing on Luca Petrasso and Jordan Perruzza for Insigne and Jordyn Nelson.
Vancouver would regain control as the match moved closer and closer to Penalty kicks. Vancouver would swing it out wide to the right but a pass back into the box was stolen and cleared by Toronto FC. The 4th official would signal 5 additional minutes as Vancouver would float a ball into the box. Bono was quick off his line and able to snatch it out of mid-air and stop the danger.
The match would go to penalty kicks with Ryan Gauld up first for the Whitecaps, he would slot it home past Bono and TFC would step up to the mark. Both Criscito, Brian White, Perruzza, and Julian Gressel would all score on their attempts. Jonathan Osorio would step up for the 3rd attempt and Cropper was able to give him nothing but the post to the eruption of the Southside.
With fate in their hands, Andres Cubas would step up and calmly score his penalty kick before Bernadeschi would match for Toronto FC. It would come down to Tristan Blackmon who slotted home the winner past Bono before celebrating with the Ronaldo Suuuiii!
It was an amazing moment for the Whitecaps and fans as the party would ensue!
Post Match Thoughts And Media
It was a whirlwind of media availability after the match ended with players being brought over to media on the pitch side. It was super hard to pick anything up but thankfully they did have Vanni Sartini do his normal media availability after the match. He tried to head to the podium with a beer but it was switched out for a water bottle.
He spoke about the general thoughts of the match for the Vancouver Whitecaps vs Toronto FC.
“I was confident, but I was also a little bit pissed. Because I think if the first half finished 3-0 for us, nobody would say anything. Then, in the second half, they pushed a little bit and we defended very well. They scored the goal because, again, they have top players, the only player who can make that cross is Bernadeschi in the league. I was a little bit on the edge, but I knew that the fans were going to help with their noise. Then in the shootout, they pulled the ball for Osorio to hit the post, then we won, so I’m very happy.”
He also talked about what it meant to the team to qualify for a CONCACAF Champions League spot next year and win the Voyageurs Cup.
“We worked a lot the entire season. We said from day one that the Canadian Championship was one of our important trophies. We didn’t do well in the last previous years. It means everything because you know, we are a very good team. So today we reminded everyone that when we are 100 percent, we are a very good team. But we are not the team, who was painted or who was considered like ‘elite’. So winning a trophy for us is really important. On a personal note, it’s the first trophy that I win so, you know, I’m really, really happy.”
Ryan Gauld was made available on the pitch and spoke about his cross that set up the Brian White goal in the 1st half.
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Vanni Sartini wasn’t shy to celebrate the victory along with his Italian heritage after the match. He ran into the tunnel and grabbed an Italian Flag and proudly made the rounds to celebrate with the fans. He also didn’t hold back after the match ended fist pumping proudly!
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Sports Talk Line And The Vancouver Whitecaps
The win punches the Vancouver Whitecaps ticket to the CONCACAF Champions League next season where they can try and follow in the footsteps of their Cascadia rival, Sounders and bring the title back to the MLS. Vancouver also continues their fight for a playoff spot as they head out on the road to take on Nashville SC on Saturday, July 30th.
Fans were able to leave BC Place happy after a spirited rendition of “Stand By Me” despite what the regular season has in store. Matches like this are important to give the group confidence and help push for a playoff spot in the MLS Western Conference.
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