The Vancouver Whitecaps clinched their ticket to the Canadian Championship final on Wednesday with a 2-1 win over York United.
Striker Brian White scored twice for the hosts, with attacking midfielder Ryan Gold assisting in the second score of the night.
Isaiah Johnston of United added to the tension late in the game with a goal in the 84th minute.
Whitecaps goaltender Cody Cropper made two saves, while York’s Nikolaos Giantzopoulos saved four of six shots on goal.
In the final at the end of July, the Caps will face fellow Major League Soccer club Toronto, after Toronto defeated Montreal 4-0 in the previous semi-final on Wednesday. This will be Vancouver’s first participation in the tournament’s deciding game since 2018.
United were the last Canadian Premier League team remaining in this year’s tournament.
The winner of the Canadian Championship will lift the Voyageurs Cup and represent Canada in the 2023 CONCACAF Champions League.
White’s double in the second half gave the Whitecaps a comfortable lead at the end, but the visitors refused to lose quietly.
United’s substitute Muhammadu Kane passed the ball to Johnston in the 84th minute, and the midfielder drove deep into the box, passing Vancouver defender Jake Nervinski and hitting below Cropper to get York back in the game.
The Caps took a 2-0 lead in the 74th minute when a familiar face shot wide of Giansopoulos.
Gold made a solid cross and White fired a left foot from the center of the box to score his second goal of the game.
York almost equalized in the 61st minute from a free kick. Diyaddin Abzi hit the wall and forced Cropper to make a jump save.
Vancouver finally broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute when linebacker Ryan Raposo fired a shot from outside the box. Gianzopoulos hit the ball mid-air, but White picked up the rebound and quickly sent it into United’s net, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead.
The shot was White’s first goal in a Canadian Championship game and his third goal of the year for the Caps.
The Whitecaps dominated the first half, controlling 60.9% of possession and beating the visitors 13-2 on aggregate and 4-1 on shots.
In the 25th minute, White almost put the Caps on the board, turning Gold’s cross into a header that went over the bar.
Four minutes later, Vancouver’s Lucas Cavallini swept through York territory and shot from outside the box, only to see Gianzopoulos come to a halt.
Towards the end of the half, United quickly took four corners in a row but failed to convert their chances.
Both clubs will return to the field on Sunday, with York hosting Valor FC in a CPL game and the Whitecaps entertaining the New England Revolution in MLS.
FOOTNOTE: Giantzopoulos was briefly a member of the Whitecaps earlier this season. He played as a backup goaltender in Vancouver’s MLS game against Charlotte on May 22. … An announced crowd of 10,503 took part in the game at BC Place.
— Gemma Carstens-Smith, The Canadian Press.
Football Vancouver Whitecaps