TORONTO, Ont. – Toronto FC defeated Club America in Leg One of the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal on a cold and rainy Tuesday night. Thanks to goals from Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC won the match 3-1.
Giovinco and Altidore Goals Lead Toronto FC Past Club America in First Leg
TFC wasted no time going after the Mexican giant. Just nine minutes in, Giovinco made a run into the box and was clipped by Edson Álvarez, drawing a PK. The Atomic Ant stepped up to take it, forcing Agustín Marchesín the wrong way and scoring. Toronto continued to create chances but it was America’s Andrés Ibargüen who scored and leveled the match in the 21st minute on a great individual run, dribbling through half the opponent’s men.
The match got chippy after that, as no-calls and yellow cards had both teams boiling with anger at the other and the officials. Jozy Altidore got a huge goal minutes before half time, making a great run onto a pass from Giovinco, creating space with his marker, and scoring. The half ended 2-1.
Toronto pushed for a third goal in the second half, thriving in weather. In the 58th minute, it was Ashtone Morgan who tapped in a low cross from Auro to make it 3-1. America had trouble creating much danger as the conditions appeared to wear them down. The match ended 3-1.
Three Things I Noticed:
Discontent but not CONCACAF-ing: This match had players upset with head official Henry Bejarano from the start. Club American was not happy with the penalty Giovinco drew. After every chippy tackle, there appeared to be frustration from one side or the other. All three first half yellow cards also drew crowds and words by players to the official and the opponent. This was a headed match from the start, especially for two teams who don’t play each other regularly.
The stars showed up: The big guns showed up for Toronto FC. Giovinco and Altidore created danger with almost no one else at times. It was a great individual run by the Atomic Ant that led to the PK, and he converted. A great combination play between the two got Altidore his goal. Altidore drew the attention of a defender, allowing Ashtone Morgan to tap in the big third goal.
Weather and wearing down: Normally MLS fans and pundits are used to physical and nerve-racking matches against Liga MX opponents on MLS soil. Club America had just two shots from inside the 18 tonight. Furthermore, they seemed to wilt after conceding a third goal. The substitutions didn’t kick-start the team. They seemed to run out of gas as the Reds and the weather conditions got to them.