Toronto FC successfully defended its Nutrilite Canadian Championship yesterday without even playing a match on the night.
A 1-1 draw between future MLS sides Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps, played at Montreal's Stade Saputo, ensured that the Reds entered into the CONCACAF Champions League for the second straight season. The Whitecaps needed a win to keep their chances alive (with Montreal already having been eliminated by virtue of two losses to Toronto), but a strike by the Impact’s Phillippe Billy canceled out an earlier marker from Vancouver's Ansu Toure and rendered the June 2 date between TFC and Vancouver at BMO meaningless.
TFC's securing of the 2010 title is a far cry from last year's victory, when they needed a victory by at least four goals in the tournament's final game against Montreal to advance and pip Vancouver to the title. Already unable to advance, the Impact dressed their reserves, infuriating the Whitecaps and their fans, and were beaten soundly by Toronto 6-1, locking up the NCC for the Reds.
The Reds will now take part in a two-legged Champions League qualifier in late July versus Honduran side, CD Motagua, who are led by former TFC star and World Cup-bound Honduras captain, Amado Guevara. The winner of the tie will move on to the group stage and will be slotted into Group A, which features MLS Champion Real Salt Lake, Panamanian holders Arabe Unido, and the victor of the qualifier between Mexican giants Cruz Azul and another Panamanian side, San Francisco.
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