FINAL SCORE, Tigres 3, Toronto FC 2 (5-5 agg.): Toronto won the battle between the current MLS champion and the current Liga MX champion as the Canadian side outlasted Tigres to book their place in the Semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
After a scoreless first half that saw Tigres grow into possession, an own goal from Rafael Carioca gave Toronto a 64th minute lead.
Five minutes later, though, a corner kick found Eduardo Vargas to head in the equalizer and put the aggregate score at 3-2.
Needing one more goal to force penalties, Tigres made a huge mistake by giving Sebastian Giovinco a dangerous free-kick in the edge of the box. The former Juventus man made no mistake and fired Toronto to an unprecedented 4-2 aggregate lead.
Since Jurgen Damm’s inclusion in the second half, much of Tigres’ play came from the right, and they finally took advantage in the 84th minute. Andre-Pierre Gignac’s close range effort put Tigres within two.
With the clock ticking towards the final whistle, Tigres earned a penalty. Gignac scored his second of the night, but his goal was too little too late as Toronto earned one of their biggest accomplishments in club history, going through on away goals.
Halftime Update: Toronto FC started the brighter of the two teams, but Tigres slowly gained control of the match. The Universitarios have had a good number of chances and are knocking on Toronto’s door. The onus for the second half will be if Toronto can keep their focus, as Tigres are sure to continue to rain in crosses from the wings.
How to Watch
Date: Tuesday March 13
Time: 8:00pm Pacific, 10:00pm Central, 11:00pm Eastern
Venue: Estadio Universitario, San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico
TV: Univision Deportes Network(US-Spanish), Fox Sports Cono Norte (Mexico)
Streaming: fuboTV (Free trial + monthly subscription), go90
Matchday in Mexico— Toronto FC (@torontofc) March 14, 2018
Here’s our starting lineup vs. @TigresOficial in Leg 2 of the #SCCL2018 quarterfinals#TFCLive | #TIGvTOR pic.twitter.com/7LznVmqXzv
Así saltan los Tigres a la cancha esta noche buscando la victoria. #SoyTigre pic.twitter.com/WC2LSUjyd2— CLUB TIGRES OFICIAL (@TigresOficial) March 14, 2018
The Liga MX champion and MLS champion collide once again when both teams meet in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Querterfinal tie. The first 90 minutes ended with Toronto FC gaining a 2-1 advantage on the aggregate score, but Tigres know a 1-0 win would be enough to clinch a place in the final four.
Albeit respectful of Major League Soccer’s growth in recent years, Tigres coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti is confident his team can obtain the result they need. The game will be played at the Estadio Universitario, where Tigres has looked practically invincible, last losing 15 matches ago in a Copa MX game against Atlético Zacatepec.
Toronto FC, though, are no slouch. They are the Major League Soccer champions for a reason, and as they showed in the first leg, they can go toe-to-toe with Mexico’s best. A victory for them would be arguably one of the biggest wins in club history, and with players like Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley, they are more than capable of doing so.
It doesn’t get bigger than this in the CONCACAF Champions League. “El Volcan” will be rocking. Will Toronto come out of it standing or will Tigres move on step closer to winning their first ever international tournament?