Russell Teibert believes a trip to the Canadian Championship finals may be just what the Vancouver Whitecaps need to turn their season around.
The Whitecaps put up a 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact in Vancouver on Wednesday, giving them the edge in the tournament's two-leg semifinal with an aggregate score of 2-1.
The Impact won the first half of the series 1-0 in Montreal last week.
Vancouver has been in a slump lately, losing five of their previous six matches, and are currently sitting outside of a playoff position in the MLS western conference.
Teibert said earning their way in to the Championship's finals will swing the momentum.
"We're going to build off this performance and take it into our regular season and as well with the Canadian Championship," he said. "We really want to win that trophy because we do want to be the champs of Canada."
Vancouver wins their semifinal 2-1 on aggregate over Montreal, will face TFC in final. 1:10
Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson said his players showed character in the win with a "very professional, organized, disciplined" performance.
"The reason why we're inconsistent sometimes is because we don't perform to our levels," he said. "When they perform to their levels, no matter who you play against, you can get results. And I think we showed how good we can be against a very, very good team."
The Whitecaps opened the scoring in the 19th minute of Wednesday's game after defender Jake Nerwinski waltzed into the attacking zone and got a pass off to forward Yordy Reyna, who rocketed the ball into the back of the net.
"Honestly, it wasn't that great of a ball, but Yordy made it look that good. So it was a good finish," said Nerwinski.
The second goal came off a penalty kick by striker Kei Kamara in the 60th minute.
Vancouver controlled much of the action, putting up 14 shots while the Impact registered six.
Offence goes cold
Montreal coach Remi Garde said his team struggled to capitalize on its opportunities to score.
Defender Michael Petrasso added that the Impact was able to muster more offence in the first leg of the series
"We only needed one goal [on Wednesday] to make it very difficult for them. And I think we found it very difficult to kind of move up the pitch. Obviously, they came out strong and they kind of kept us in our own half," he said.
"It's unfortunate that we couldn't find the net to make it more difficult for them."
Some of Montreal's young players got an opportunity to get on the field in the tournament, as Garde rotated the team during a gruelling spell of seven games in 22 days.
The coach said he saw progress from the burgeoning athletes, including midfielder Shamit Shome, who's only played in five league games this year but started Wednesday.
"Of course, they are not here to grow as individuals, we are here to win as a team. But we have to see some positive stuff inside this unfortunate defeat," Garde said.
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CBC | Soccer News