Montreal won the Amway Canadian soccer championship Wednesday night as Hassoun Camara’s goal in the 84th minute gave the Impact a 2-2 tie against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Although the two-game, aggregate goal series was also a 2-2 draw, the Impact claimed the crown because its two away goals served as the tiebreaker. The Major League Soccer rivals played to a 0-0 tie in the first leg in Montreal.
The Impact earned a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League, starting in August, which determines qualifiers for the 2014 Club World Cup.
Felipe also scored for the Impact, who trailed 1-0 after the first half.
Montreal won the Canadian championship for the first time since playing in a lower-tier circuit in 2008.
Camilo and second-half substitute Daigo Kobayashi scored for the Whitecaps. Vancouver placed second in the national final for the fifth straight year, finishing runner-up to Toronto FC in the previous four tournaments.
The Whitecaps entered the game with an unbeaten home record in all competition, but could not capitalize on home-field advantage at B.C. Place Stadium.
Scottish striker Kenny Miller returned to the Vancouver lineup after being out since March 30 with a hamstring injury. He started up front with Camilo, who continued in a central forward role after moving there in a league draw against Portland on May 18.
Camilo has been used primarily as a midfielder this season, often toiling on the left flank. The Brazilian got Vancouver’s offence going right off the opening kick as he raced towards a loose ball in the Montreal box and forced Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush to charge out of his net and make a save.
Moments later, Vancouver midfielder Gershon Koffie’s shot from the top of the box was deflected over the net by a sliding Montreal defender.
In the fourth minute, Camilo lofted home a curling free kick from about 35 yards to give the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead, igniting the crowd. The goal came after he was fouled by Alessandro Nesta.
Camilo was in the process of creating another scoring chance as he raced down the left flank in the sixth minute, but he was pulled from behind by Montreal’s Hassoun Camara. The Montreal defender earned a yellow card for the infraction.
Camara appeared to make amends for his miscue as he headed the ball past Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton in the eighth minute. But the goal was disallowed because of an offside call.
Vancouver had more chances the rest of the half, only to shoot or head the ball wide or be foiled by Bush. The Impact had a rare dangerous chance just before half-time as Marco Di Viao raced for a loose ball on a quick counter-attack — only to watch as Knighton raced out of the net and booted the ball down the field and over the Montreal end line before anyone could get near it.
Vancouver was credited with 11 shots in the first half, while the Impact could only muster four.
Montreal started the second half strong and tied the game 1-1 in the 49th minute as Felipe put in a shot from just outside the Vancouver box. With away goals serving as the first tiebreaker, Felipe’s marker forced the Whitecaps to press for a win.
The Whitecaps lost midfielder Koffie in 56th minute to an apparent leg injury as he was fouled from behind by Felipe. Koffie was replaced by Kobayashi, who saw his first action since suffering an ankle injury May 11 against New York.
The Japanese midfielder made his mark 13 minutes later as he gave the Whitecaps a 2-1 lead. Kobayashi booted in a loose ball after he collided with Camara while trying to head in a Nigel Reo-Coker cross.
The ball came loose and Kobayashi quickly broke away from the fallen Camara booted it in.
Shortly after the goal, Camilo hit the corner of the post and crossbar from close range.
Camara tied the game 2-2 as he headed in a Justin Mapp corner kick.
In five minutes of added time, Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey headed a Russell Teibert cross over the net and Kobayashi fired wide from inside the Montreal box.
Notes: Miller played 73 minutes before being replaced by Harvey, who served as a midfielder as Vancouver adjusted its formation. ... Whitecaps defender Brad Rusin sat out with a calf injury suffered in practice Monday. He is expected to miss two weeks. ... Vancouver striker Darren Mattocks played the final eight minutes in place of Camilo. Mattocks rejoined the team temporarily after being with the Jamaican national team in preparation for World Cup qualifiers. He played a full 90 minutes in a friendly against English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in Bermuda last week. He will miss the Whitecaps’ next two MLS games, at New York and Seattle.
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