Toronto FC 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 0 | Canadian Championship Match Recap
The competition might change, but Sebastian Giovinco continues to be a difference-maker.
A 43rd-minute goal from Giovinco gave Toronto FC the advantage in the Amway Canadian Championship on Tuesday night, as they picked up a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first leg of the series at BMO Field. The talented Italian found the back of the net via a deflected shot just before halftime, and Toronto's defense held firm to ensure that the Reds walked away victorious.
Giovinco struck at the end of a tight first half that saw both teams battle mostly in the midfield. He made a diagonal dribbling run on the play, and fired a shot that nicked off Vancouver center back Kendall Waston before rolling into the back of the net.
Toronto FC will try to protect their lead and raise the Canadian championship trophy when they meet the Whitecaps again in the decisive leg of the series at BC Place on June 29.
- CARRYING THE LOAD: Sebastian Giovinco may not have dazzled as much as he usually does, but he was still the main protagonist in this one. The majority of Toronto's best plays in the tight affair came through the reigning MLS MVP, and it was a surprise to no one that it was Giovinco who scored the decisive goal minutes before halftime. Giovinco almost struck again in the 53rd minute from about 22 yards out, but the near post denied his mid-range effort from making it 2-0.
- NOT TOO SHABBY: While Giovinco may have had a couple of very good plays, the Whitecaps more or less did a good job of defending him. They limited the space the playmaker had to operate with, particularly in the first half, and only conceded because a shot from outside the penalty area took a wicked deflection off of Waston. Vancouver might be trailing, but they put themselves in a decent spot heading into next week's finale.
- LACK OF ATTACK: If the Whitecaps are to erase the one-goal deficit and give themselves a shot in the series, they will need more from their attack and midfield. Pedro Morales and Co. struggled to do much with the ball at BMO Field, and finished the match with 10 mostly tame shots compared to Toronto's 22 and lost the possession battle by a sizable margin at 57.3 to 42.7 percent.
- TOR: 6/25 at Orlando City (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
- VAN: 6/25 at Philadelphia Union (7 pm ET, TSN in Canada and MLS LIVE in the US)