FC Edmonton 1 (2), Vancouver Whitecaps 2 (3) | Canadian Championship Match Recap
Vancouver Whitecaps left it late but saw off a stiff test from NASL side FC Edmonton in their Amway Canadian Championship semifinal second leg, coming through 2-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate to advance to the final.
A first half penalty from Pedro Morales looked to have sent Vancouver on their way before Edmonton tied everything up with a 91st minute penalty of their own from Tomi Ameobi.
With the match looking set to head into extra time, Vancouver grabbed the winner in the 97th minute from Matias Laba to set up a final meeting with the Montreal Impact.
Needing to score at least once to advance, Vancouver dominated play from kick off, forcing a string of corners early on, and it didn't take the MLS side long to find the early breakthrough they were hoping for.
Cristian Techera was played in by his countryman Nicolas Mezquida in the 8th minute but was brought down in the box by Edmonton keeper Matt VanOekel and referee Silviu Petrescu pointed to the penalty spot.
Whitecaps' captain Morales stepped up and drilled the ball home to give Vancouver the lead on the night and for the first time in the cup tie, cancelling out Edmonton's away goal advantage at the same time.
Edmonton should have tied things up in the 12th minute when Ameobi found himself free in front of goal, six yards out, but couldn't connect and seemed to step on the ball after Lance Laing had sent in a dangerous cross.
The Whitecaps looked comfortable for the rest of the half without really causing too much goalmouth action. Their best chance came in the 39th minute when Techera hit a delightful curling effort just wide from a tapped free kick.
Edmonton knew they needed a goal to get back into the tie and substitute Daryl Fordyce just failed to connect with a dangerous Laing cross to the back post as the hour mark approached.
Forced to make some defensive substitutions, Edmonton were looking like the only side that would score in the closing minutes, and as the game entered stoppage time, they were thrown a lifeline when Kendall Waston barged over Frank Jonke in the box and Ameobi fired home the resultant penalty to tie the match and the series back up.
With extra time looming, the Whitecaps had a rare foray forward and grabbed a dramatic 97th minute winner when the ball broke to Laba in the box and he fired through the legs of VanOekel from a tight angle, leaving Edmonton heartbroken.
Vancouver now advance to a two-legged Canadian Championship final against the Montreal Impact in what will be a very busy August for the Whitecaps.