Toronto FC got the equalizing goal from Maicon Santos in the 73rd minute and the Reds will now head home with a slight advantage over the Vancouver Canucks after their 1-1 tie on Wednesday during the first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. Toronto FC's home leg will be played next Wednesday at BMO Field, where the Whitecaps will have to score at least one away goal to have any chance of advancing.
"We did all right considering it was a road game," Toronto FC defender Adrian Cann said. "It was a battle out there. I thought Vancouver played well, we were fortunate to be able to pull back the goal to make it a tie. Going back to Toronto is going to be another battle. Knowing that we have the fan support in that atmosphere, it’s going to be a great night."
The winner of this two-game, aggregate-goal final will earn a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League's preliminary round where they will face the qualifier from Nicaragua, either Real Esteli or Walter Ferreti. Toronto FC is the only Canadian team to compete in the continental tournament.
The Whitecaps took the initial lead on a goal from Eric Hassli in the 64th minute off an assist from Davide Chiumiento. It was Hassli's third goal this year against TFC and extended the Whitecaps' 10-match unbeaten run in the NCC. TFC has never beaten the Whitecaps in Vancouver.