More than a year ago, Toronto FC was only penalties away from lifting the CONCACAF Champions League trophy and becoming the first MLS team to do so. This year, their campaign is over after only two games. After last week’s shocking and disappointing 4-0 loss against the Panamanian Club Atletico Independiente de la Chorrera, Toronto FC needed a miracle last night at BMO Field. But it was too late for a miracle, and the only thing the team could do is draw 1-1 in the Round of 16, second leg, losing the series 5-1 on aggregate.
But it was a mission impossible for Toronto from the beginning, as they needed to score five goals to advance to the next round. The team did give their best, but it simply wasn’t enough to pass the first hurdle in the continental competition.
Jozy Altidore missed the second leg as well, due to his knee injury. Terrence Boyd, who missed a penalty in Panama, was on the bench, while Jordan Hamilton and Ayo Akinola were up front. Nick DeLeon, who recently arrived from the D.C. United, debuted for Toronto FC. Drew Moor couldn’t help his teammates, as he was still recovering from his injury.
The weather conditions made it even more difficult, as the pitch was in rough shape, and the temperature was minus 9 Celsius.
An Early Goodbye for the Reds
Toronto FC had more possession, while the Panamanians opted to defend their advantage, slowing down the game whenever they had the chance.
Hamilton was probably the only positive from the match, as the Canadian showed Vanney had been right to keep him in the team. He repaid his coach’s faith by scoring a goal 19 minutes into the game, which for a moment gave Toronto FC fans a glimpse of hope they could perform a miracle.
Jose Guerra was busy in the first half, making a number of important saves, although it’s fair to say he couldn’t do anything on the opening goal.
All hopes of making it through to the next round were crushed by Independiente striker Omar Browne, who took advantage of the mistake made by Laurent Ciman, sending the ball into Alex Bono’s net. This is Browne’s second goal in this tie, as he was also on the scoresheet last week.
After the elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League, Toronto FC will focus their attention to the 2019 MLS regular season. The Reds will play their opening game of the campaign on Saturday in Philly when they face the Philadelphia Union.