Toronto FC rode a pair of second-half goals to overcome an early deficit and beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 on aggregate in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. The win qualified them for the preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League where they will play the Nicaraguan champion for a spot in Group C. The championship was the third straight for TFC, but the first time they had to beat another MLS team to do it.
The game itself was highly entertaining if not necessarily a great display of soccer. Camilo Sanvezzo gave the Whitecaps a 2-1 aggregate lead on a 22nd minute free kick, recovering the lead they had when the May 25 match was abandoned due to unplayable conditions.
But TFC equalized in the 51st minute when Joao Plata converted his second chance at a penalty that culminated a controversial sequence. To start it, Plata was fouled inside the box, but only after it appeared he handled the ball. On his first attempt, Joe Cannon made the save, but was ruled to have come off his line early.
TFC then took the lead in the 61st minute when Plata threaded a pass to Mikael Yourassowsky at the far post. Yourassowsky lost his mark and was able to easily beat goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
The match had plenty of controversy, too. In addition to the whole penalty situation, TFC appeared to have scored the equalizing goal earlier in the match when Javier Martina was able to beat Cannon to a bouncing ball outside the area. His shot appeared to cross the line, but the referee ruled that Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit had cleared it to safety.