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Canadian Championship Second Leg Preview: TFC aims for third-straight final, Impact lead Whitecaps


The last two teams standing in the battle for the Voyageurs Cup will be known by the end of the night.

The Canadian Championship semifinal return legs have the Ottawa Fury visiting Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps hosting the Montreal Impact.

Here’s a look at the two matches:

Toronto FC vs Ottawa Fury FC (7:30 PM)

Toronto FC is 90 minutes away from a third straight Canadian Championship final. Leading 1-0 on aggregate, the reigning champions will host the Ottawa Fury at BMO Field.

TFC head coach Greg Vanney thinks that the game will be trickier than people think but with the Fury needing a goal they will need to take chances. Set-piece defending will be an important part of the game for him.

“Set-pieces are going to be important. They’re a good sized team. We’ve got to deal with those,” he said. “It’ll come down to little details inside of the game and us trying to get the game to look like how we want it to look.”

The Fury don’t count themselves as lost yet. Needing only one goal to force extra time, the team from the Canadian capital are committed to reaching their first ever final.

“We have to win. The team has to be prepared mentally, that whatever happens they have to fight, to find a way to win this game,” said head coach Nikola Popovic.

Both team are coming off weekend wins. Ottawa had the advantage of staying at home but played a stressful 2-0 win against Nashville SC that included a missed penalty against them and two 90th minute goals. TFC had to travel to Chicago to face the Fire but came out with a 2-1 result

Popovic’s latest acquisition, former Montreal Impact academy product Clement Bayiha, will not be available for the game. The 19 year-old fullback is on loan with the Impact as they take on their return leg against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Montreal Impact: 10:00 PM ET

At Vancouver’s BC Place, the Impact will try to take advantage of their 1-0 aggregate lead to reach a second straight final.

Following the team’s opening leg, head coach Remi Garde admitted having understood what the tournament meant to his Canadian players and staff members.

For Saphir Taider, who has been one of the team’s main offensive contributors recently, any chance to get a trophy is`important.

“It’s important for us and for the club to add another trophy to our cupboard,” said Taïder. “We have one step before the final. It’s up to us to go over there as warriors, to put everything on our side and to win this game to go through to the final.”

During their weekend league games, the Impact took the upper hand. While both were playing in the Pacific Northwest, the Impact grabbed a point from the Portland Timbers in a 2-2 draw. On their side, the Whitecaps were taken down, 2-0, by the Seattle Sounders in a game where Efrain Juarez picked up a red card.

The hosts will also be at a disadvantage with one of their stars off the picture completely. The Whitecaps will be without Alphonso Davies as the teenage star is in Philadelphia undergoing a medical for Bayern Munich. The team recently agreed to an MLS record fee with the Bavarian giants that could reach as high as $20 million.

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