Canada Soccer

Whitecaps FC advances to Championship final

Posted on 9 May 2012 in Canadian Championship

Vancouver Whitecaps FC has won its semi-final series 5-1 on aggregate to advance to the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship final. Whitecaps FC won 3:1 at home on Wednesday 9 May,following up on a 2:0 away win over FC Edmonton from one week earlier. Edmonton's Yashir Pinto opened the scoring before substitutes Sébastien Le Toux (two) and Darren Mattocks scored for the home side.

Down 0-2 on aggregate from the previous week, FC Edmonton had to push forward in order to tie the series. After a scoreless first half in Vancouver, FC Edmonton scored the opening goal in the 54th minute. Rago centered the ball and Pinto knocked it in. It was FC Edmonton's first goal (in four matches) in the Amway Canadian Championship.

Still a goal up in the series, Vancouver decided to go on the attack in the last 15 minutes to put the match out of reach. In less than 20 minutes from entering the match as a substitute, Championship debutant Le Toux scored two goals to all but eliminate FC Edmonton's hopes of a series win. Le Toux's goals put Vancouver up 2-1 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.

“I thought the way we finished the game was excellent," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. "It was good to get Mattocks and Etienne into the game after they both have been out with long injuries. I thought they contributed a lot, as did Sebastien. It’s nice for us to be in the final of the competition and it’s obviously a significant moment in the club’s history.”

Whitecaps FC midfielder Davide Chiumiento, who assisted on both Le Toux goals, also assisted on the late goal by substitute Mattocks. Mattocks made it 3-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate with a goal three minutes into added time.

"I’m a little torn," said FC Edmonton head coach Harry Sinkgraven. "We did lose the game 1:3, but I am still extremely proud of the team. We played hard. We played to win, but in the end we came up short. It happens in sport sometimes, but I am still very proud."

Vancouver Whitecaps' starting XI featured Brad Knighton in goal, Greg Klazura, Carlyle Mitchell, Jay DeMerit and Jordan Harvey along the backline, Floyd Franks, John Thorrington and Davide Chiumiento in the midfield, and Michael Nanchoff, Eric Hassli and Camilo Sanvezzo up front.

In the second half, coach Martin Rennie replaced Nanchoff with Sébastien Le Toux (70'), Hassli off for Darren Mattocks (74'), and Sanvezzo off for Étienne Barbara (85').

FC Edmonton's starting XI featured David Monsalve in goal, Antonio Rago, Paul Hamilton, Kévin Hatchi and Fabien Vorbe along the back, Shaun Saiko, Kenny Caceros and Chris Kooy in the midfield, and Michael Cox, Matt Lam and Yashir Pinto up front.

In the second half, coach Harry Sinkgraven replaced Cox with Kyle Porter (55'), Saiko for Ilja Van Leerdam (77') and Pinto off for Paul Craig (81').

The 9 May 2012 match was played at BC Place in front of 15,011 fans.

This year marks the fifth edition of the Amway Canadian Championship. Six matches will be played over four Wednesday nights, with the semi-final series on 2 and 9 May and the championship final series on 16 and 23 May. The four competing teams are Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, FC Edmonton and Impact Montréal.

Once again, all 2012 Amway Canadian Championship matches will be broadcast live on television. Matches will be broadcast on Sportsnet in English and TVA Sports in French. Fans can also follow the Championship on canadasoccer.com/championship as well as via all of Canada Soccer's social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr).

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