Toronto FC knocked out of CONCACAF Champions League

Toronto FC CCL
TORONTO, ON — FEBRUARY 26: Gustavo Adolfo Bolivar (8) of Independiente challenges Jordan Hamilton (7) of Toronto FC during the first half of the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 match between Toronto FC and Independiente de la Chorrera on February 26, 2019, at BMO Field in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (February 26, 2019) — After falling to a deficit of 4-0 in Panama against Independiente de la Chorrera, it seemed almost impossible for Toronto FC to make it through to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

The impossibility became reality on Tuesday night. Despite scoring an early goal to garner a 1-0 lead, Toronto FC still needed three more goals and a clean sheet to even tie the match. One goal from Jordan Hamilton, scored in the 19th minute, wouldn’t be enough.

Toronto FC knocked out of CONCACAF Champions League

However, that clean sheet never happened. The defense couldn’t keep tabs on Omar Browne, who slipped in-between centerbacks Laurent Ciman and Chris Mavinga. Meanwhile, it was easy for Browne after going one-on-one with Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono.

Browne tapped his shot into the back of Toronto’s net, seemingly ending all hope that was little to begin with. Because of having an away goal, the aggregate stood at 1-6, with Toronto needing to score at least five goals.

Meanwhile, Browne’s goal occurred in the 67th minute.

There just wasn’t enough time for Greg Vanney’s men to muster up anymore plays — and the frustration grew visible. Michael Bradley, Toronto FC captain, was given a yellow card for dissent after protesting Browne’s goal.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s loss drops a significant drop-off for the the Canadian club. With just a couple days until the start of the MLS regular-season, Toronto got beat and burnt by the Panama club.

To make matters worse, Toronto was in the CONCACAF Champions League final last year. From the finals all the way to an immediate knockout in the Round of 16? It’s not a good look for Toronto FC.

Now, Independiente de la Chorrera will await the victor of the Sporting Kansas City and Deportivo Toluca F.C. tilt. That match is slated for Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, for Toronto, it’s back to the drawing board. The club opens up its regular season against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium. Kick-off is tentatively schedule for 1 p.m. ET.

Three Takeaways

  1. The tempo could’ve been set early: Nick DeLeon tried his best Terrence Boyd impression in the opening minutes of the match. DeLeon skyrocketed a shot while pretty much completely open. The goal could’ve set the tone of the match and given Toronto FC a ton of confidence. Instead, it looked like DeLeon got frightened by the mere sight of the opposing goalkeeper, José Carlos Guerra.
  2. Missing Sebastian Giovinco yet? This match was screaming for a big-time striker to come in and be the hero for Toronto FC. It was never going to be Hamilton or Boyd, and that’ll likely be the case for most of the regular-season for Toronto FC. Meanwhile, Jozy Altidore is still injured and recovering. The longing for Sebastian Giovinco is going to last quite a while for Toronto FC.
  3. Will Greg Vanney last a whole year? This is a tricky question, because the MLS regular-season hasn’t even started yet. However, Vanney looked defeated on the sidelines and after Chorrera’s goal, he looked downcast. Maybe he knew that there was an impossibility to making a five-goal comeback. However, Vanney had a rough season last year and the front office — with new general manager Ali Curtis — won’t put up with a consecutive, struggling second season.

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