Montreal Impact’s Michael Petrasso, left, fights off Vancouver Whitecaps’ Kei Kamara during second half semifinal Canadian Championship soccer action in Vancouver on Wednesday July 25, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Sudden Impact: Whitecaps beat Montreal to reach Canadian final

Vancouver wins 2-1 on aggregate and will meet Toronto FC for championship

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps are headed back to the finals of the Canadian Championship.

The Whitecaps took a 2-0 decision over the Montreal Impact in Vancouver on Wednesday night, winning the two-leg matchup with an aggregate score of 2-1.

The Impact won the first half of the series 1-0 in Montreal last week.

Toronto punched their ticket through to the final earlier Wednesday with a 3-0 (4-0 on aggregate) over the Ottawa Fury.

The Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 19th minute of the semifinal after defender Jake Nerwinski waltzed into the attacking zone and got a pass off to forward Yordy Reyna, who rocketed the ball into the back of the net.

It was one of a flurry of chances for the Whitecaps, who controlled the action throughout much of the game, putting up nine shots in the first half alone. Montreal had a single chance in the first 45 minutes.

The physical play got a little too heated at times, earning Whitecaps Doneil Henry and Kendall Waston yellow cards for unsporting behaviour.

In the 60th minute, a bit of rough action came up gold for the ‘Caps when Vancouver defender Marcel de Jong was bowled over as he dribbled toward the Impact goal.

A penalty kick was called, resulting in some heated discussion between some Montreal players and referee David Barrie but the call stood.

Vancouver striker Kei Kamara took the kick, shooting the ball just over the hands of Montreal keeper Clement Diop, who dove to make the stop.

Kamara has been the Whitecaps’ No. 1 scorer in league play this season, tallying eight goals and three assists in 17 games.

The 33-year-old sat out the first leg of the semifinal in Montreal. He told media after training Tuesday that he had asked Vancouver coach Carl Robinson to put him in the lineup for the second matchup.

Kamara started the game but was subbed off in the 79th minute for Anthony Blondell, when the ‘Caps were up 2-0.

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Wednesday’s game was the fourth of five that the Whitecaps will play in 15 days. They’ll be back on the field in Vancouver on Saturday for an MLS game against Minnesota United.

Vancouver has only won the Canadian Championship once in 2015. Montreal has taken home the title three times since the competition began in 2008 and Toronto has won six times.

TFC will be gunning for their third-straight title this year.

The final games are set for Aug. 8 and 15.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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