Toronto FC came from a goal down to claim 2-1 advantage over Tigres in the First Leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals tie. This was a meeting of two league champions, with Tigresa arriving as the Liga MX champion and Toronto FC arriving as the MLS Cup champion.
Games between Liga MX and MLS teams appear to always ignite something special, and this one was no different. That said, neither team appeared to be in much danger in the first 45 minutes, with both teams exchanging possession and producing rare opportunities on goal.
Tigres star man Andre-Pierre Gignac was a surprise exclusion in the Liga MX side after scoring over the weekend at Veracruz, but coach Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti did not hesitate to bring on his top player after the break.
After seven minutes, it wasn’t Gignac but Eduardo Vargas who fired the visitors into the lead. After a long header by Larry Vazquez, Vargas smashed the ball past Alex Bono to hand Tigres a valuable away goal.
After conceding, Toronto fared much better on the ball and it took just eight minutes for the Canadians to equalize. A great one-touch pass by Marco Delgado finished with Jozy Altidore putting the ball into the back of the net.
Toronto started producing more meaningful chances and appeared to labor more for the winner than their opponents, who looked to be suffering from the difficult conditions of the pitch.
With 89 minutes gone, Jonathan Osorio scored a phenomenal winner. After a series plays in front of Tigres’s goal, Sebastian Giovinco picked out Osorio inside the area and the Canadian backheeled the ball past Nahuel Guzman to give Toronto an advantage heading into the second leg.
The result means Tigres need a win in the Second Leg to progress, while Toronto know any form of draw or win would hand them a historic place in the Semifinals.