Club America 1, Toronto FC 1 | 2018 Concacaf Champions League Recap
Despite losing a key player to injury in the opening moments of the match, Toronto FC got an early goal, then kept Club América off the scoreboard until second-half stoppage time, to earn a 1-1 draw at Estadio Azteca on Tuesday night. The resulting 4-2 aggregate win means the Reds will face CD Guadalajara in the Concacaf Champions League final starting next week.
Drama arrived early in the first half. Just five minutes in, Jozy Altidore went down and stayed down in a collision, and had to be subbed off several minutes later for Tosaint Ricketts. In the 12th minute, Sebastian Giovinco delivered a perfectly-weighted pass into the box, where Ricketts and an Aguilas defender collaborated to sidefoot the ball to Jonathan Osorio for the opening goal.
Drama stuck around for the rest of the rain-drenched first half — a 19th-minute Eriq Zavaleta headed own goal was taken off the board via a late offside flag, and the Aguilas continued pressuring for an equalizer, forcing Alex Bono into five excellent first-half saves. America finished the half with 12 shots to TFC's four and more than 60 percent possession.
The second half included just a few chances for the Reds to expand their lead. In the 50th minute, Giovinco fired a free kick in to force a tip save, and then on his subsequent corner kick, he nearly bent it around the near post for the game's second goal. TFC was, however, content to sit back and absorb America's attack for much of the final 45. Only a stoppage-time penalty kick, awarded when Michael Bradley collided with Oribe Peralta in the box, allowed the home team to get on the board.
- 12' – TOR – Jonathan Osorio
- 90'+2 – CA – Andres Uribe (PK)
- THE BIG PICTURE: Toronto FC closed out a solid two-leg series against a traditional Liga MX powerhouse in a notoriously challenging stadium. They now get the chance to bring MLS glory in the series finale — a feat last attempted by the Montreal Impact, TFC's implacable rivals, against America in the '14-'15 finals.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The goal was a moment of as-good-as-it-gets TFC soccer, with a Canadian connection, enabled by Giovinco's vision, making the Aguilas' mountain that much harder to climb.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Bono faced a barrage of shots — 29, to be exact — and was unshakable throughout the match, credited with six saves, and even weathering an end-of-first-half elbow to the head on one of those saves.
- TOR: Saturday, April 14 at Colorado Rapids (3 pm ET | ESPN, Full TV & Streaming Info)