The Canadian Championship semifinal draw produced a pair of provincial rivalry matchups with Toronto FC playing Canadian Premier League title-holder Forge FC and the defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps facing the CPL's Pacific FC.

The draw for the two-legged semifinals was made Wednesday night at halftime of Pacific's 2-1 win over Atletico Ottawa in the second leg of their quarterfinal in Langford, B.C. The teams played to a scoreless draw in the first leg May 8 at TD Place.

Ayman Sellouf, from the penalty spot in the 28th minute, and captain Josh Heard, in the 34th, gave Pacific a 2-0 lead at Starlight Stadium in the return leg. Substitute Sam Salter pulled one back for Ottawa in the 59th.

Ottawa unsuccessfully pressed for a second goal through five frantic minutes of stoppage time, which would have given it the series win on the away goals rule.

Ottawa currently tops the CPL standings at 5-0-2 with Pacific third at 3-2-2.

The draw also determined that the winner of the Vancouver-Pacific semifinal will host the stand-alone championship game.

Pacific and Vancouver have met in the cup competition twice before. Pacific defeated the Whitecaps 4-3 in the preliminary round of the 2021 tournament. Vancouver won 3-0 when they met in last year's semifinal.

Toronto defeated Forge by a penalty shootout in the pandemic-delayed 2020 championship game, which was actually played in June 2022.

The winner of the 14-team Canadian Championship hoists the Voyageurs Cup, collects $50,000 from Canada Soccer in prize money and qualifies for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, the confederation's elite men's club competition.

The Canadian Championship is sponsored by Telus.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.