Toronto FC was eliminated from MLS playoff contention on Saturday after a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Russell Teibert scored in the fourth minute and Kei Kamara delivered the coup de grace in the 78th minute for Vancouver (12-12-7), which got some stellar defence from centre backs Kendall Waston and Doneil Henry and goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.
The Vancouver Whitecaps beat Toronto FC 2-1, eliminating the defending MLS champions from playoff contention. 1:03
"It's hard to put into words," said Toronto coach Greg Vanney. "It's not like this happened overnight. It's been a season-long challenge and journey. Those emotions have developed over the course of the season, not just one night. But tonight was another one of those nights."
Vanney, who has gone from coach of the year to playoff spectator, then found the perfect words, calling it "a pride-kick in the gut."
Things went from bad to worse for the MLS champions before a muted BMO Field crowd of 22,886 when Toronto defender Gregory van der Wiel was sent off in the 66th minute for a second yellow card. Both times the Dutch veteran was caught bodychecking a Whitecap to the ground.
The win keeps Vancouver's slim playoff hopes alive, at least temporarily.
"I'm really proud of the boys because they believed," said caretaker coach Craig Dalrymple. "They came in at halftime 1-0 up and they still weren't happy. They wanted more, and they wanted to fix a few things that weren't quite right in the first half and they did it."
It was the second game for Dalrymple, the Whitecaps' technical director who took over after Carl Robinson was fired Sept. 25.
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Toronto (9-16-6) tied it at 1-1 in the 73rd minute after Henry, a former TFC player, was called for a handball in the box. Substitute Jozy Altidore hammered the penalty home to give Toronto hope.
But Kamara delivered a late dagger, tapping home a Jordon Mutch cross with the Toronto defence missing in action. It was his 14th of the season.
"We spent so much time this year playing from behind, trying to come back in games," lamented captain Michael Bradley. "It cost a lot of energy, mentally and physically."
The game ended to a mixture of cheers and boos. Toronto joins the already-eliminated Chicago, Orlando, Colorado and San Jose.
After the international break, Toronto plays at D.C. United and Montreal before wrapping up the regular season against league-leading Atlanta.
Vancouver hosts Sporting Kansas City before visiting Los Angeles FC and finishing at home to Portland.
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CBC | Soccer News