Photo courtesy Luke Galati / Toronto FC
TORONTO – Ottawa Fury FC threatened early, but saw Toronto FC pull away for a 4-0 victory on the night and a 5-2 victory on aggregate as a pair of late first-half goals sent the defending champions back to the final of the Canadian Championship at BMO Field on Wednesday night. Toronto will face the Montreal Impact in the final next month.
Fury FC had an early chance in the fourth minute when Lance Rozeboom’s shot from the right side of the penalty area was saved by Clint Irwin, and Sito Seoane headed the rebound wide of the left post. Seoane forced a save from Irwin in the 18th minute as Fury FC held their own for much of the opening 20 minutes, but Toronto got a good look three minutes later as Tsubasa Endoh fired wide of the near post from the right side of the penalty area.
The hosts began to gain the upper hand, targeting the right side of the Fury FC’s defense, and Tosaint Ricketts sent a header wide in the 27th minute after an angled cross by Chris Mavinga. Fury FC again pressed forward, though, and Andrae Campbell’s cross from the left found Seoane 14 yards out. The Spaniard fired toward the right corner, but a block deflected the effort just over the crossbar.
Toronto threatened again in the 33rd minute from a corner from the right as Victor Vazquez’s delivery found Eriq Zavaleta at the far post for a header that went wide of the left post. Endoh also went close with a shot that flashed just wide of the left post, but the former Maryland standout earned the hosts the opening goal of the night as his low cross caromed off Fury FC’s Eddie Edward and into the net three minutes before the halftime break.
TFC struck again almost immediately, with Endoh again at the center of the play. A turnover gave the ball to Vazquez on the left side, and his cross to the near post found Endoh for a headed finish and 3-2 aggregate lead at the halftime break.
Endoh almost made it 3-0 on the night two minutes into the second half as he hit the crossbar from the top of the six-yard area, but Ottawa then looked to get back on the front foot. Seoane shot just wide in the 57th minute, while Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco forced a save from Ottawa goalkeeper Callum Irving in the 67th minute with a bouncing shot toward the left corner of the net.
Toronto wrapped up its place in the Canadian Championship Final against the Montreal Impact with 10 minutes to go, though as Marky Delgado tapped home from the top of the six-yard area from a low cross by Justin Morrow. Giovinco then added a fourth with five minutes to go to put the icing on the cake for the defending Canadian champions.