Montreal Impact goalkeeper Clement Diop (23) raises his fist after defeating Toronto FC in the second leg of Canadian Champion soccer action in Toronto, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Final 4 teams to square off in Canadian Championship in late October, early November

Final 4 teams to square off in Canadian Championship in late October, early November

TORONTO — The Canadian Championship semifinals have been set for late October and early November.

Canada Soccer announced Wednesday that Forge FC will host CF Montreal on Oct. 27 at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field while Toronto FC will entertain Pacific FC at BMO Field on Nov. 3.

Both semifinals are single-leg contests. The home team was determined by a coin flip Tuesday, according to Canada Soccer.

The final will also be a single game, with timing and location to be announced later.

The Canadian Championship winner hoists the Voyageurs Cup and earns a berth in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, the elite club championship in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Canada Soccer waited for the result of Forge FC’s round-of-16 tie in CONCACAF League play against Panama’s Independiente before confirming the Canadian Championship dates. Forge won 2-0 in Panama City on Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the feeder competition that will send six teams to the Champions League.

Forge will play either Costa Rica’s Santos or Panama’s CD Plaza Amador, who meet Wednesday in the second leg of their round-of-16 tie.

The Canadian Premier League champions will open the CONCACAF League quarterfinal on the road, between Oct. 19 and 21, with the return leg in Hamilton between Nov. 2. and 4.

Forge said the cup fixtures will require shifting some CPL regular-season games, with the changes yet to be announced. The Hamilton side has seven league games scheduled between Oct. 16 and the Nov. 7 season finale.

Further complicating the fixture decision is FIFA’s international window in early October, with Canada scheduled to play matches against Mexico, Jamaica and Panama in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Still, the Canadian Championship final four face a busy schedule.

Come mid-October, Montreal faces a stretch of five games in two weeks while Toronto plays six in 2 1/2 weeks. Pacific has six games scheduled between Oct. 16 and Nov. 6.

While the road map to the 2021 Canadian Championship takes shape, the 2020 tournament still has to be resolved. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 competition was eventually reduced to a winner-take-all game between Forge, the CPL champion, and Toronto, which won a mini-competition with the two other Canadian MLS teams during the abbreviated 2020 MLS season.

TFC and Forge will be playing for bragging rights and the trophy. No date has been set yet.

Montreal won the Voyageurs Cup in 2019, its fourth tournament title. Toronto has won the championship seven times.

Going into play Wednesday, Pacific topped the CPL standings at 10-4-6 while Forge was third at 10-7-1. Montreal (10-9-7) was seventh in the MLS East while Toronto (4-15-7) was 14th.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2021.

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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