Vancouver Whitecaps end curse with first Canadian title

Runners-ups five out of the last six seasons, the Vancouver Whitecaps seemed to be cursed in their bid to win the Voyageurs Cup that goes to the Canadian champion. A 14-year wait ended on Wednesday night as they beat the short-handed Montreal Impact, 2-0, to win the Amway Canadian Championship, 4-2, on aggregate.

The Whitecaps had competed for the Voyageurs Cup since it was started in 2002 among the USL First Division's four Canadian teams. It used to be awarded to the team with the best record in the regular-season league play. Since 2011, Canada's MLS and NASL teams have competed for the Canadian Championship. Vancouver made the final in 2011-13, losing 3-2, 2-1 and then on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate score.

“We’re trying to build something here at this club,” 'Caps second-year coach Carl Robinson, who won the title as a player with Toronto FC, said. “People kept reminding me that we hadn’t won it. So today we made a little bit of history which is fantastic, and hopefully it’s the first of many.”

Goals by Octavio Rivero and American rookie Tim Parker were the difference in a match that turned when Impact defender Victor Cabrera was sent off for earning his second yellow card.

"There were two games tonight," said Montreal coach Frank Klopas. "The first in the opening 30 minutes, then after that it was a different story. It's tough and unfortunate to play with 10 men for 60 minutes. We moved the ball well in the beginning, but the cards changed things. It's disappointing."

Rivero scored on easy tap in at the 40th minute and Parker headed home a corner kick for the second goal in the 53rd minute.

The title qualified Vancouver for the 2016-17 Concacaf Champions League as Canada's representative. For 2015-16, the Canadian Soccer Association awarded the berth to the 'Caps as the Canadian team with the best MLS record in 2014.

The extended gap between winning the Canadian Championship and playing in the Concacaf Champions League will allow additional time for the CSA to hold the domestic competition each season and the winner additional time to prepare its roster for the regional championship, which begins in August.

August 26 in Vancouver
Vancouver 2 Montreal 0. Goals: Rivero 40, Parker 53.
Montreal -- Kronberg; Oyongo, Cabrera, Ciman, Toia; Donadel (Alexander 73), Reo-Coker, Mallace, Venegas (Romero 64), Mapp; Oduro (Jackson-Hamel 64)
Vancouver -- Ousted; Beitashour, Waston, Parker, Harvey; Teibert, Koffie (Laba 84), Techera, Morales (Rosales 68), Manneh; Rivero (Mattocks 72).
Att.: 19,616.
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