TORONTO, ONTA. (February 27, 2018) – Toronto FC cruises to the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal with a 0-0 draw at home on Tuesday night against the Colorado Rapids. They won 2-0 on aggregate thanks to a win last week at Colorado, thus Toronto FC advances to the next round.
Toronto FC Advances To CCL Quarterfinal 2-0 on Aggregate With 0-0 Draw at Home
Toronto Starting XI (4-4-2 Diamond): Alex Bono/Auro, Drew Moor, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow/Michael Bradley(C), Marco Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, Víctor Vázquez/Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore
Colorado Starting XI (5-3-2): Zac MacMath/Marlon Hairston, Kortne Ford, Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith(C), Deklan Wynne/Enzo Martinez, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg/Jack McBean, Dominique Badji
This match was much more open and balanced than the first leg last week. The Rapids slightly out-chanced the Reds, though Toronto had a higher volume of quality chances. Giovinco was of course a force all night long, as Toronto had several set piece chances.
In the 29th minute, Morrow sent a shot just wide of the post after a good run behind the back line. Dominique Badji again had the best chance for the Rapids. Just five minutes before half time, he fired a shot past Bono but it bounced off the outside the post and out of play.
As the match wore on, Toronto began to dominate possession and chance creation with numbers. They had several good chances in the final minutes. Both goalkeepers were on their game, but MacMath was tested more. He cleared a shot by Vazquez off the line in the 83rd minute then just minutes later came off his line to catch a backheel shot by Giovinco.
Three Things To Take Note Of:
Toronto adjusted, Colorado didn’t: Last week, it was the tale of two halves. Colorado dominated the first half, but couldn’t finish. TFC adjusted at halftime and throughout. They then finished their chances and won. Tonight, the first half was more even, but after the 60th minute, Toronto started to take over the game. They had more possession with a purpose than Colorado and created the best chances. This match could have been 1-0 or 2-0.
The Rapids are still a work in progress tactically and they are still behind the defending champions when it comes to fitness.
The center back to wing back relationship: Through balls that split the Rapids wing backs and center backs caused the two goals last week. We saw more of the relationship on display in more detail tonight. Kortne Ford and Danny Wilson were the outside center backs in the back three.
They pushed up at times in possession to support the attack. We also saw how they go about marking central players compared to outside players. Hairston got caught up field a few times, including on the chance Morrow had in the first half. This team is still figuring out the communication aspect of the build up play and man marking when the other team is in transition. They seemed more with it tonight than they were in the first leg, so there’s progress.
Debutantes: Three Rapids players made their first appearance for the club tonight. Danny Wilson started at center back and played 90 minutes. Johan Blomberg started in midfield and played 66 minutes. Recently signed SuperDraft pick Nikki Jackson was Hudson’s first sub in the 66th minute, in for Jack McBean.
Wilson looked a bit rusty at times, playing with new players. Blomberg’s ball movement was ok, but he got up and down the field. Jackson only had six actions as a substitute (one of them being a shot), but it was nice for each of them to just get a run out before the start of the regular season.
The better team advanced from this tie. Toronto FC were clearly the better team in both matches. They deserved to win the first leg and could easily have won the second leg by multiple goals. They should give Tigres a fight in the next round.