Canada

13th May 2015 - Canadian Championship Semi-Final 2nd Leg - Toronto FC 3-2 Montreal Impact (3-3 on agg. Montreal won on away goals) - Attendance, 21,069.

Whilst on our USA/Canada road trip our last port of call was to be Toronto.  What better way to end a trip than to go to a football game?  Technically, we haven't yet conquered a game in this country, for this was a tournament held to identify Canada's entry to the next season's Champions League, and both of these clubs actually ply their trade in the American Soccer System.  That minor fact didn't stop us from eagerly turning up at the ground over an hour early to signs reading that this was 'the biggest rivalry in Canadian Soccer'.  

So big was this rivalry that we failed to count one single away fan attending the match.  And when the full time whistle went and Toronto won the game on the night 3-2, there was genuine confusion in the crowd as at least half of the people in our stand didn't seem to understand the concept of the away goals rule and were busy celebrating another great Toronto achievement, when in reality it would be Montreal that would go onto the final (and duly lose to Vancouver Whitecaps).

As for the ground itself - it was a delight.  We found ourselves perched up high with amazing views of Lake Ontario and of planes taking off and landing against the backdrop of the sun setting.  Both these sights frequently took our gaze away from the game.  However, it was a game that didn't disappoint, as both teams wrestled back and forth for the lead over a frantic 90 minutes.  

Players of note included Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco for Toronto as well as a brief cameo from former Aston Villa forward Luke Moore, whose 8 minutes of play may have been ineffectual but was still 8 minutes more than a forlorn looking Nigel Reo-Coker managed from the bench.

Pete Mel