Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Giovinco Scores Twice to Lift Toronto FC to Win over Montreal, and Canadian Title

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Giovinco Scores Twice to Lift Toronto FC to Win over Montreal, and Canadian Title

Article excerpt

Giovinco scores twice to lift TFC to win

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TORONTO - Sebastian Giovinco stood alone on the BMO Field grass for several minutes Tuesday night, watching the celebratory fireworks that lit up the Toronto sky.

There was a lot for the star striker to soak in.

Giovinco had just scored his second goal of the night in added time to lift Toronto FC to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact, and the Canadian championship title.

The nailbiter was only the latest chapter in an anything-but-friendly rivalry between the two teams that just got several degrees nastier.

"We win, I score, it's good," a grinning Giovinco said afterwards. "I feel happy because in the final when you score, for the strikers it's always beautiful."

Toronto won the two-leg series 3-2 on aggregate, earning a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.

"Every time we play them, the games are more and more exciting in different ways," said Toronto coach Greg Vanney, dressed in faded jeans after his suit had been soaked in champagne.

Giovinco, recently back after missing three weeks with a quadriceps injury, connected on a cross from Raheem Edwards to score the game-winner, then ran and leapt into the throng of roaring fans in the south stands. The final whistle blew just seconds later, to the delight of the crowd of 26,539 -- a Canadian championship record.

Toronto goalie Clint Irwin sprinted the length of the field to celebrate the goal. Players doused Giovinco with water.

"People like to feel something, and this game and this competition between us and them, whether it's MLS or tonight, it has emotion," Vanney said. "Now Montreal and Toronto is an event, every time it's on I think people are going to tune in and see what can happen this time.

"The fact there's a trophy on the line makes the emotion all the more special."

Ballou Tabla scored Montreal's lone goal to give the visitors the lead in the 36th minute.

Blerim Dzemaili was headed for goal after a give-and-go with Ignacio Piatti when he was slide-tackled by Chris Mavinga. But the ball bounced back to the Swiss international and Dzemaili tapped it to Tabla, who fired a high shot past Irwin from just inside the 18-yard box.

Giovinco got Toronto on the board in the 54th minute. The tiny Italian took a long cross from Michael Bradley, controlled it with a couple of touches before turning and firing in a blistering left-footed shot.

"Today (Giovinco) showed that in some moments, he's just a little bit quicker than everybody else, and a little bit sharper than everybody else, and he has that ability to make plays," Vanney said.

Jozy Altidore, who sat out the first half after playing back-to-back 90-minute games, had a glorious chance to clinch the victory in the 83rd minute, jumping for a header that he sent whizzing just over the Montreal net. …

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