Vancouver Whitecaps center back Doneil Henry gave his former team the upper hand heading into the second leg of the Canadian Championship final.
With an own goal in the dying moments of the game, what was a 2-1 lead for the 10-man Whitecaps turned into 2-2 draw with two-time reigning champions Toronto FC. With two away goals and a red card suspension to Felipe, TFC now has their eyes set on their second three-peat in Canadian Championship history.
Things started well for the hosts when, at the 23rd minute, Tossaint Ricketts was called for a hand ball in the box. Kei Kamara stepped up to the spot and opened the score with an ambitious shot, hitting the left post and ricocheting in.
Toronto FC replied within a minute of Kamara’s opening goal. From the right flank Marky Delgado crossed the ball just above the penalty spot where Jonathan Osorio volleyed the ball passed Stefan Marinovic to tie the game.
The Whitecaps got down to ten men in added time of the first half. Felipe lost control of the ball in the midfield and slid to regain possession, clipping Delgado in the process. Referee David Gantar gave the Brazilian a straight red after the fact.
Down to ten men, the Whitecaps looked the team more likely to score and finally converted at the 84th minute. From the center circle, Russell Tiebert sent an overhead through ball for Erik Hurtado who was completely free of marking. The 27 year-old kept his cool and beat Clint Irwin towards the far pos to take the lead.
The Whitecaps’ hopes of winning the game were shattered in stoppage time. Micheal Bradely sent a the ball from the center circle inside the box for Jozy Altidore. The US international headed the ball to the middle of the box to Tossaint Ricketts but was cleared away by Doneil Henry. To his horror, Henry realized that his diving header headed straight for his own net giving TFC a 2-2 draw.
With the final whistle, TFC took advantage of Henry’s own goal to leave British Columbia with two away goals. Both teams will travel east to BMO field next Wednesday where both teams will complete the 2018 edition of the Canadian Championship.