After a 1-1 draw in the previous leg of the 2017 Amway Canadian Championship, or the 2017 Voyageurs Cup as it's commonly known, both teams knew that a win would be enough for either of them to be crowned champions of Canada this season. Toronto FC were the victors, in the end, thanks to a sterling performance by Sebastian Giovinco and they were aided by a late red card to Patrice Bernier for a serious foul. The home side finished the series with a 3-2 win on aggregate against the Montreal Impact and added another big victory to their great season so far.
Montreal take the lead and held on until half time
Coming into this game, Toronto was the more confident team after their late win against the New England Revolution in Major League Soccer action last Friday while the Montreal Impact were coming off a terrible performance which saw them go down to a 4-1 thrashing against Columbus Crew SC. The match was fairly even for the most part as both teams were unable to create clear-cut opportunities in the first half.
Due to that, the opening goal of the game did not come until the 35th minute when Blerim Džemaili recovered a loose ball after losing out to Chris Mavinga and found Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla in space inside the box. The Montreal midfielder sent in a left-footed curling effort past Clint Irwin in goal and pushed the tie firmly in Montreal's favor. By the time the half-time whistle blew, Greg Vanney knew he had to make changes to his team if Toronto were going to have any chance of pulling this game back to them.
Giovinco turns on the style and wins the game
Vanney's substitutions were smart and proved the be the right incentive for his team to find another gear. Bringing in Jozy Altidore and Marco Delgado for Jonathan Osorio and Tosaint Ricketts, who had underperformed in the first half, allowed Toronto's midfield to gain control of the match and begin to turn the screw on an Impact backline that has struggled to keep a clean sheet recently. This proved to be the case when in the 53rd minute, Michael Bradley played a magnificent cross field ball to Giovinco, who took it down well before cutting inside and finishing into the bottom corner.
The game stayed evenly poised as the second half wore on but an unnecessary tackle by Patrice Bernier saw the midfielder sent off with a straight card, meaning his team would have to see out the last few minutes of the game with just ten men. Toronto did not hesitate to bombard Montreal's goal due to that man-advantage and even though it came late, the winning goal came in the end. Youngster Raheem Edwards raced to the byline before cutting the ball back to Giovinco and the Italian put away his second of the night to give Toronto the win and the cup for the sixth time in their history and qualifying for the next CONCACAF Champions League season.