Cavalry defeat Whitecaps, become 1st ever CPL squad to beat MLS team
Calgary will play Montreal Impact in semis of Canadian Championship
Calgary's Cavalry FC pulled off an upset Wednesday night, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 to advance to the Canadian Championship semifinals.
Cavalry defender Dominick Zator had one thing in mind when he stepped onto the field at BC Place on Wednesday night.
"Coming back here, one of the things I wanted was to score against them," said Zator of his former squad.
Zator wasn't alone in the sentiment, of course. Many of Cavalry's squad can trace their own footballing paths back to the Whitecaps. But, it was Zator's powerful that saw Cavalry defeat the Whitecaps and become the first team in CPL history to defeat an MLS squad.
"Our guys have got the heart of a lion," Cavalry head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said after the match. "It's evident to see, in how we've done in the CPL. The CPL is for Canadian players, coaches, officials, administrators, the whole gambit. We've got a lot of Canadians playing, and we'll keep forging ahead to 2026 and creating a bigger platform for Canadian players."
WATCH | Cavalry defeat Whitecaps to make CPL history:
His words are tinged in giddy excitement. He's beaming from ear to ear. You can hardly fault the man. His Cavalry team, a side built on the skeleton of his PDL championship-winning Foothills, had just done the impossible — a 2-1 win over the Whitecaps, away from home, to win the series, to clinch a semifinal berth against the Montreal Impact, another MLS team.
To make, as Wheeldon Jr. explained, Canadian soccer fans across the country take notice of the CPL.
And, of course, to make history of his own — a Spring winner's berth notwithstanding.
Impact edge York9
The Montreal Impact advanced to the semifinal of the Canadian Championship with a 1-0 victory over lower-ranked York9 FC in the second leg of the quarter-final on Wednesday.
Montreal won the series 3-2 on aggregate after the teams played to a 2-2 draw in the opening leg two weeks ago.
Ignacio Piatti, in his long-awaited return from injury, scored for the Impact from the penalty spot to snap a five-game winless run for the Major League Soccer club. James Pantemis made one save for the clean sheet.
Goalkeeper Nathan Ingham made six saves for York9 of the Canadian Premier League.
WATCH | Impact advance to Canadian Championship semis:
Piatti scored the game's only goal from the penalty spot in the 55th minute, calmly firing into the bottom corner while Ingham dove the wrong way. Piatti earned the penalty himself when his cross into the box hit Diyaeddine Abzi's arm.
The 14,723 in attendance at Saputo Stadium serenaded Piatti after his goal and gave him a standing ovation when he came off the pitch in the 65th minute. The Argentine was back in the lineup after missing Montreal's last nine games with a knee injury.
The Impact took no chances against the lower-division club. Knowing a loss at home would be cause for embarrassment, coach Remi Garde played several of his regular MLS starters like Bacary Sagna, Maxi Urruti and Saphir Taider.'
Ottawa Fury FC beat Wanderers FC
The Ottawa Fury advanced to the semifinal of the Canadian Championship with a 2-2 draw against HFX Wanderers FC in the second leg of the quarterfinal on Wednesday.
Ottawa won the series 5-4 on aggregate after winning the first leg 3-2.
The Fury got goals from Christiano Francois and Onua Obasi to move on.
WATCH | Ottawa draws Halifax, advances to Canadian Championship semis:
Ottawa will host the opening leg on Aug. 7 against Toronto FC, while TFC will host the second leg Aug. 14.
The Wanderers came in needing to win by two, or score at least three goals to advance, and got off to a strong start.
They took a 2-0 lead in the first half and went into the second half up 2-1, but in the 66th minute Francois got just enough toe on the ball to get it past HFX 'keeper Jan-Michael Williams to tie the game.
With files from CBC Sports and The Canadian Press