By: Kylie Vaillancourt
The Toronto FC not only made history for the team but for the country in an intense game against Montreal on Wednesday night
For the first time in club history, they became Eastern Conference Champions after beating their biggest rival the Montreal Impact 5 -2 in extra time with a 7-5 aggregate win.
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) December 1, 2016
It’s the first time that a Canadian team has made it to the MLS Cup finals.
Because of their season’s winning record, TFC will have home-field advantage and will host the Seattle Sounders on Dec. 10 to play for the MLS title.
It will be the first appearance in the final for each team.
The game was played at BMO Field before a record crowd of 36,000.
Ian Harvey, former Toronto Sun reporter and a huge TFC fan who goes to almost every game, is unable to make it to the final but is still looking forward to the game.
“I want to see good, contested battle between two evenly matched teams.”
Harvey was at last night’s game again the Impact saying the “house was rocking.”
Although TFC fans filled the crowd, there was a section in the upper corner of Montreal fans. According to a friend of Harvey, some Impact fans were throwing beer cans.
“It was incredible, it was electric,” said Harvey.
“We’ve got a 401 derby, Toronto and Montreal. The rivalry doesn’t get much bigger than that. I mean Toronto and Vancouver is one thing but Toronto-Montreal, come on… that is THE rivalry. Always has been whether it’s football or hockey,” said Harvey.
Montreal started the game scoring the first goal of the game, but Armando Cooper came around for TFC and scored not only the first goal of the game but his first goal in MLS. Toronto scored another and put themselves in winning position.
The Impact ended up tying up the game, taking the aggregate lead. Toronto came back scoring another goal, and although the game score was 3-2, it caused the aggregate lead to tie again and the game went into extra time.
In the 97th minute, a calf cramp forced TFC leading scorer Sebastian Giovinco into the sidelines. Benoit Cheyrou who replaced Giovinco in the game, scored the series-winning goal in the next minute.
Whether Toronto takes the MLS title or not, the future for the team is still unknown.
“They’ve got a good team. Question is, in the off-season, can they hold onto key players? Like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco, of course. Those are your key players. Can they hang onto them?” said Harvey, “There’s rumors already that Bradley been offered a job in Europe and Giovinco could go to Europe as well.”
TFC players took to social media to express their joy and love for the game, city and fans:
— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) December 1, 2016
Just experienced one of those once in a lifetime moments.. MLS CUP FINALS TORONTO! 1 more to go 🏆🏆🏆 — Jay Chapman (@jaychappers) December 1, 2016