Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whitecaps score late to earn draw with big league opponents. Doesn't mean a damn thing.

They likely don’t deserve it, but TFC is still the odds on favourite to win the Canadian championship after its 2-2 draw against Vancouver tonight.

The Reds have struggled to finish all year and once again it bit them in the butt. Despite out chancing Vancouver by a wide margin in the two games the two teams played it was the Whitecaps that ended up taking more points against their MLS opponents. But, in the end, Toronto did just enough to remain in control of things as it heads into the final game of the tournament looking to become the first Canadian club champion since the demise of the CSL.

Toronto lead late before Eduardo Sebrango scored his second of the game, against the flow, to tie it up. Toronto was caught with three at the back as it was likely pressing for a third goal. TFC needed a two goal win to have a chance to capture the tournament with a tie in the final game. Vancouver needed to win by four goals to remain alive.

I’m sure most Vancouver fans will view the two games against Toronto as highlights of the season. Indeed, the Vancouver-based television commentators kept making reference to the fact that the Whitecaps were “undefeated against MLS opposition this year.” After all, everyone likes to knock off the big boys and I’m sure Vancouver soccer fans grow tired of the hype surrounding T.O.

However, having to put up with some misguided left coast boasting is a small price to pay for TFC’s fans. Clearly it’s a little embarrassing not to be able to finish the job against a lower league team. But, here is the thing…TFC has played like crap and can still win by just going out and doing what it is supposed to do—win at home.

Montreal will likely bunker down looking for the tie. But, if the Reds can improve in the final third (and rumours are strongly suggesting that former Manchester City striker Paul Dickov will join the team just prior to the Impact game), they will win.

And that, of course, is the bottom line.

More reaction tomorrow...

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