Toronto FC overcome Tigres in CONCACAF Champions League classic

Toronto FC overcome Tigres in CONCACAF Champions League classic
From ESPN - March 13, 2018

A perfectly struck free kick from Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco helped the MLS champions into the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday, despite a 3-2 defeat to Liga MX champion Tigres.

The Canadian team advanced on away goals, following a 2-1 win in Toronto in last week's first leg as the tie finished 4-4 on aggregate.

Here are three takes from the game:

1. Toronto earns memorable victory

If you were to write a blueprint of how to get a result against the very best Liga MX teams in Mexico, it probably would look something similar to what we saw from Toronto FC on Tuesday, at least until Giovinco's 73rd-minute strike.

There was a lapse from a corner that allowed Eduardo Vargas in to equalize in the 69th minute, five minutes after a Rafael Carioca own goal had given Toronto the lead, and two late goals from Andre-Pierre Gignac as Toronto started to rock, but then against a team that has been the dominant force in Liga MX in recent years and had not lost at home in 23 matches, you'd expect some moments of danger.

Relatively speaking, those moments were few and far between until Toronto had opened the scoring. The disappointment from the Tigres side will revolve around why they were tamed quite comfortably for most the game by Toronto, before they threw caution to the wind.

There was a sense of serenity about the Canadian side from the start, with Toronto keeping the ball with confidence and not displaying signs of nervousness inside a stadium known as "The Volcano."

This was a tightly-fought affair, at least until Toronto went 1-0 up, and one in which Tigres enjoyed more possession -- even if they were sloppier at times with the ball -- and Toronto remained compact.

But while Toronto was in no rush to restart plays, this was not a backs-against-the-wall performance. The MLS champs were assured in possession and patient without the ball and, while Tigres had the better opportunities overall, goalkeeper Alex Bono's best save came from a Drew Moor sliced clearance. French center-back Chrys Mavinga was particularly impressive until he was taken off just after the hour mark.

But for all the hard work and organization in defense a team can possess, if you do not cause much of a threat in the final third, then a side will buckle more often than not. Tigres certainly pushed.

It was not enough squarely because of Giovinco's moment of brilliance in the 73rd minute.


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