La Choerra, Panama- Toronto FC’s misery in the CONCACAF Champions League continued on Tuesday night, as they were blown out of the water by Panamanian side, Independiente.
Toronto FC Destroyed By Independiente
Within the first ten minutes, TFC had already dug themselves a hole, as Armando Cocanegra got the scoring started in the ninth minute.
Toronto did play themselves into the game, pressuring the Panamanian side for a couple spells, but nothing came from it. Their best chance on the night was Terrance Boyd’s penalty kick, which turned into what looked like a chip shot field goal attempt in the NFL. Deja Vu for Toronto and it just got worse from there.
Terrance Boyd had a valuable chance from the penalty spot after Ciman was taken down but he has SKIED the potential game-tying goal. Independiente still in front of Toronto FC 1-0! #CAIvTOR #CCL #TFC pic.twitter.com/r7s5aHmLmU
— NASA Football Podcast (@NASAPodcast) February 20, 2019
TFC went into halftime just needing one goal to stay affloat. A road goal would do wonders for them, even if they drew or lost the game 2-1. However, their worst nightmares came true as they found themselves down 3-0 not even 10 minutes on from halftime.
With the score already at 4-0, Independiente blasted a free kick off the crossbar. The Panamanians celebrated one of their biggest wins in club history at full time, as TFC were subjected to one of their worst defeats. Here are three takeaways from the game tonight.
- Toronto FC didn’t have an edge. One thing that just seemed to be missing from TFC during the 2018 season was an apparent edge. They had played with a chip on their shoulder for much of 2016 and 2017. But tonight, they looked slow and unmotivated. Considering the amount of turmoil they’ve been through in the last couple of months, you shouldn’t be too surprised.
- Toronto could really use a creative attacking force. Terrance Boyd is a solid striker. He and Jozy will do just fine together up top. But the rumored acquisition of Alejandro Pozuelo really can’t come soon enough. The pieces seem like they could be there, but nobody is really the glue in the middle of the attack. If they can land Pozuelo, or any other central creative attacker, it would bring together a bunch of nice pieces into a realtively cohesive attack. They won’t be the TFC of 2016 or 2017, but they’d be better off than this.
- They can’t escape the Penalty Kick Curse. Last time they had stepped up to take a penalty kick, Michael Bradley sent one into the stands in Guadalajara, condemning Toronto to defeat in the 2018 CCL Final. While that thought was certainly in the back of TFC Supporter’s minds, they probably didn’t imagine that Terrance Boyd would blast his over. If he puts that away, it likely changes the outcome of this match.
Toronto FC and Independiente will face off in the second leg next Tuesday, February 26, as the Panamanian side travel up to Toronto for the reverse. TFC have their work cut out for them, and only time will tell if they are up to the task.