Toronto to play Seattle in MLS final after beating Impact

Thu Dec 1, 2016 2:39am EST
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TORONTO (The Sports Xchange) - After 90 minutes of possibly the best playoff game in Major League Soccer (MLS) history, few were complaining that 30 minutes more were needed to separate rivals Toronto FC and Montreal Impact.

Benoit Cheyrou and Tosaint Ricketts scored in extra time as Toronto (TFC) beat Montreal 5-2 in the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference final, sealing a 7-5 aggregate victory as TFC advanced to its first MLS Cup final.

"It was a crazy match. The scoreline alone at 5-2 in a conference final was amazing," said Ricketts, a Canadian international who joined TFC in July after bouncing around in Europe the last few years.

"I'm so proud of the guys. We battled back many times in the game and showed so much character. It was a very special moment for all of us."

Toronto, the first Canadian team to reach the MLS title game, will host the final Dec. 10 against the Western Conference champion Seattle Sounders.

Toronto led 3-2 at the end of 90 minutes, leaving the teams tied at 5-5 on aggregate over the two legs.

Montreal won at home by the same 3-2 score on Nov. 22 in the first leg.

In the 97th minute, Frenchman Cheyrou entered the game when Sebastian Giovinco came off injured. Moments later, Cheyrou headed home a cross from Steven Beitashour from the right side and sent the 36,000 fans at BMO Field into delirium.

"(Cheyrou) is a guy with tons of experience, and he sniffed out something could come to the back post," said Toronto head coach Greg Vanney.   Continued...

Nov 30, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC midfielder Brian James (36) battles for the ball with Montreal Impact defender V?ctor Cabrera (36) in the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Championship at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports