Canada Soccer

Whitecaps jump into first place with 2:0 win

Posted on 2 June 2009 in Canadian Championship

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have put themselves in the driver’s seat in the effort to win the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship. With a 2:0 victory over Toronto FC at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver – both goals scored by Ansu Toure - Vancouver jumped into first place in the Nutrilite Standings.

Whitecaps FC finish the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship with nine points in four matches – three wins and a loss. Vancouver finished with a +4 goal differential and five goals scored. Toronto FC now has six points after three games (two wins and a loss) with a 0 goal differential and just two goals scored.

As such, Toronto FC will need to win its final match on 18 June by four or more goals in difference against the Impact de Montréal. A Toronto FC victory by three goals or less in difference, regardless of score, will give Vancouver the championship. A Toronto FC draw or loss will also hand Vancouver the championship.

Toure scored one goal in each half in the Vancouver win. Toure jumps all other scorers for the tournament lead in goals. Vancouver's goalkeeper Jay Nolly, meanwhile, posted his third consecutive clean sheet.

The home side came out on the attack, creating most of the offence and keeping Toronto on its back heel. The first six corner kicks were all awarded to Vancouver as the Whitecaps threatened to take the lead.

Finally in the 31st minute, Vancouver broke through. From within the box, Marcus Haber pushed a pass forward to Wes Knight who blasted a shot from the right side. Toronto FC goalkeeper Greg Sutton made the save, but the rebound on the opposite side was buried by Ansu Toure.

Right back off the whistle, Vancouver continued to press on Toronto. Finally in the 35th minute, Toronto won its first corner kick, but little could be amounted. Three minutes later, however, Toronto created a real chance as Pablo Vitti played a ball forward to Dwayne De Rosario. De Rosario chipped Vancouver keeper Jay Nolly, but Vancouver's defender Lyle Martin was back to clear the ball before it reached the line.

In the 41st minute, Vitti broke through himself and fired a shot past goalkeeper Nolly only to see it come back off the post.

Toronto's first chance in the second half came in the 50th minute off a De Rosario free kick. Barrett got up in the air to head the ball in the right direction, but the ball sailed over the net. Two minutes later, another terrific free kick by De Rosario was headed by Barrett – this time goalkeeper Jay Nolly stopped the ball on the line.

As the half continued, Toronto pressed on. Toronto's pressure, however, also opened up the back end for several Vancouver chances. Vancouver forwards Charles Gbeke and Marcus Haber had several opportunities, but the Toronto defenders - especially Nana Attakora-Gyan and Adrian Serioux - nullified each chance.

Vancouver doubled its lead in the 81st as the Whitecaps counter-attacked down the left side and pushed the ball forward to Gbeke. Gbeke coolly dropped it back to Toure who fired his second goal of the match with perfectly placed drive to the top corner of the net.

Toronto pushed to get at least one back, but was unable to beat Nolly in the dying minutes.

The 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship runs 6 May to 18 June in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver. The final match on 18 June will be played at Stade Saputo in Montréal. The match will be broadcast live on Sportsnet (20.00 ET / 17.00 PT) and on tape-delay on Radio-Canada (23.00 ET / 20.00 PT).

* A Toronto FC loss or draw to Montréal, regardless of score – Vancouver wins championship
* A Toronto FC victory by three goals or less in difference, regardless of score – Vancouver wins championship
* A Toronto FC victory by 4+ goals in difference, regardless of score – Toronto wins championship

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