Well that’s us halfway through this year’s “exciting” Nutrilite Canadian Championship and we now know what scenarios Vancouver Whitecaps face in their three remaining matches.
Toronto ran out 1-0 winners at Montreal, in the latest bore-a-thon in the tournament (following hot on the heels of our contribution last week). With games like the last two, maybe it’s good that Sportsnet decided to only show this year’s matches on their East and West channels. These games might put the Canadian public off domestic football for a while if they were shown nationally.
The game was played in front of a disappointing crowd, as the Montreal public followed their Vancouver counterparts last week and decided to stay at home and watch men’s figure skating instead. To be fair to them, they didn’t exactly miss much at Saputo Field. It was dull as dishwater.
I went into the game with a three wishes: a 0-0 draw; an injury or two match suspension for de Guzman; an injury to Matt Jordan. Sadly, none of these things materialised. Fucking lying genie.
Montreal’s defeat now ends their hopes for glory this year, so I’m looking forward to the Caps facing a weakened B team in the game there in a fortnight. Of course we can be pretty sure that’s not going to happen, but if they have any scruples and sense of decency then that would be the case. The way we’ve been playing mind you, I wouldn’t back us to get the job done even against such a side.
The Impact’s elimination now sets Vancouver two paths to qualification:
(1) If the Caps record two wins and a draw in their three remaining games then we win the Championship by a point, maybe two, no matter how we achieve this scenario
(2) If the Caps lose in Montreal, but beat Toronto home and away then we win the Championship by a point
If the Caps lose in Montreal, beat Toronto once and draw with Toronto once, we’re out. Any loss to Toronto ends our Champions League dreams for another season.
A defeat next week will also make the final two games in the tournament irrelevant and that won’t be good for Canadian football or the tournament’s attempt at getting regular TV coverage.
So what it all boils down to is that it’s all in Vancouver’s own hands this season. We can’t blame anyone else this year if we don’t do the business. It’s going to be tough, especially with our lack of firepower currently, but at least we’re looking strong defensively. I just hope that Teitur doesn’t set the stall out for not getting beat next Wednesday.
Now is the time for the players to step up. Reclaim your pride from last year and show the country why you will always be Canada’s team.