No one was more shocked than Ottawa Fury coach Paul Dalgish.
Ryan Williams and Sito Seoane scored second-half goals as Ottawa rallied to a 2-1 win on Tuesday in their first-ever meeting with Toronto FC in the first leg of the semifinal for the Voyageurs Cup, Canada’s soccer club championship.
“This shouldn’t have happened,” said Dalgish. “There’s no way we should have to beat the best team ever in Canada, [The players] have to savour it.”
The second leg will be played at Toronto’s BMO Field on May 31 with the winner moving on to the Canadian championship against the winner of the other semifinal between the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps.
“We’ve come up against a fantastic team,” said Dalgish. “In my opinion, Toronto is the best ever Canadian team. It was a big, big proposition for us to take them on and I thought the guys were fantastic.
“They implemented everything we asked them to as a coaching staff fantastically well.”
After falling behind Toronto 1-0 on a goal from Benoit Cheyrou, the Fury started the second half much better than the first and as a result of their tenacity got a free kick in the 57th minute following a hand ball by Toronto FC.
‘I thought they played hard’
Williams took the kick and while TFC keeper Clint Irwin dove to his right, Williams placed his shot into the corner of the goal to Irwin’s left.
Irwin once again dove to his right in the 64th minute but this time was able to knock away a shot from Ottawa forward Seoane, who looked destined to give the Fury the lead.
That lead did come in the 72nd minute as Seoane drove around a TFC defender during a massive scramble and hooked a shot past Irwin for a 2-1 advantage.
“Congratulations to Ottawa. I thought they played hard in the second half they came out with a little bit different intensity and were competing quicker for balls,” said Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney. “Credit to them they stuck with it and got a couple of goals out of it.
“It’s a wakeup call for us…