Vancouver Whitecaps win Canadian Championship on penalties

Vancouver captured their second-ever Canadian Championship Tuesday evening. Vancouver Whitecaps FC/ Twitter

After years of struggling in the Canadian Championship, the Vancouver Whitecaps have finally lifted the Voyageurs Cup after beating Toronto FC in the final.

Winning the tournament has long been a goal for the Whitecaps, according to head coach Vanni Sartini.

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“We said from Day 1, the Canadian Championship was one of our important trophies. We didn’t do well in the previous years. And it means everything because we are a very good team,” Sartini said after his side beat Toronto 5-3 on penalties.

“Today, we will remind everyone that we are a very good team.”

Tuesday marked just the second time the ‘Caps have won the Canadian Championship; the first was in 2015. They had not been in the final since 2018.

“Any time you get a trophy, it’s awesome,” said Vancouver striker Brian White. “Toronto’s a good team and we struggled in this tournament in years past.”

Toronto has taken the title eight times.

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Toronto dominated more than 70 per cent of the possession on Tuesday and outshot the Whitecaps 18-14, including 6-5 in on-target shots.

With the score knotted at 1-1 after 90 minutes of play, the game went to a penalty shootout.

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The Whitecaps’ Tristan Blackmon scored the game-clincher. The crowd erupted as the ‘Caps defender fired a penalty shot past Bono for the victory.

On the sidelines, Sartini stripped off his black “Home is Vancouver” T-shirt and whipped it around his head as he ran on to the field.

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Tuesday’s victory shows what the Whitecaps are all about, said midfielder Ryan Raposo.

“The guys just have so much grit. They’re all fighters,” said Raposo, who was named the best young Canadian of the game. “We’re not a team full of individuals, we’re a team, we work together toward a common goal, and that’s what happens — you win trophies.”

The Whitecaps will be back in action on Saturday, when they visit Nashville SC.

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