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Santos Laguna vs. Toronto FC: Match Night Commentary

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A place in the CONCACAF Champions League final is on the line, as Toronto FC heads to Torreon, Mexico, to take on Santos Laguna (8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) and attempts to do what no other MLS team has done: Eliminate a Mexican side in the knockout rounds of the CCL.

The odds are against TFC, considering Santos Laguna's form, especially at home, and overall firepower combined with Toronto's defensive frailties. The Reds were able to hold the Mexican Clausura leaders to a 1-1 draw at BMO Field last week, but Santos Laguna's away goal — scored by red-hot American striker Herculez Gomez — is currently the difference between the two sides.

Making matters more difficult for TFC is that Designated Player striker Danny Koevermans is unavailable for the match after being suspended for yellow card accumulation, and he joins fellow DP Torsten Frings on the sidelines for the upstart MLS side. 

SBI will be providing commentary on the match, so feel free to follow along with us, and as always share any thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):

44 comments
  • BamaMan

    This has the makings of an all-time classic. Gomez firing on all cylinders. Toronto putting on a more technical display than any MLS team I’ve seen in aeons. Just an awesome first half of soccer.

    Like

  • Polo

    Can MLS teams choke anymore in Mexico?

    It’s like they don’t want to win there.

    Like

  • DCUPedro

    Bro, it ain’t choking when you play better teams at their place. We’re talking about one of the hottest teams in Mexico against the worst team in MLS. Played in Mexico midweek. Santos doing anything but dominating TFC would be choking.

    Like

  • Polo

    And there’s the Mexican officiating we’re all used to. That’s just a bad call essentially ending the game.

    Like

  • Cornelius

    It’s over, but I’m not sure they deserved to win. Helped by the refs on three straight goals. I’m happy for Gomez, but refs decided this game more than the players.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Gomez has to get called back up. That back heel assist was gorgeous and skillful. That’s class that none of our other strikers have right now.

    Like

  • DCUPedro

    Not sure you can say that when you are talking about the worst team in MLS against arguably the best team in Mexico, in Mexico, midweek (without their DP and starting keeper).

    I mean, let’s be real. This was always going to be a slaughter. The fact that MLS is deep enough to have a squad like Toronto even enter this game 1-1 shows the growth in quality of the league.

    Like

  • Cornelius

    Clearly unintentional, incidental, and non-advantageous. Does not deserve a penalty shot.

    And while I’m at it, the previous penalty wasn’t deserved either unless Toronto gets one or two similar calls earlier in the game.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Absolutely not a handball. He headed the ball and hit his arm as he was putting it down to brace his fall. There was no intent whatsoever there.

    Bad call, but not really all that important. Santos deserves this. The prior penalty was definitely fair, btw. Suarez might have gone down a little easy, but that’s still a clear foul. Dumb play.

    Like

  • JD in FL

    Thoughts on Cobi Jones as commentator? I’d like to hear him on a few more big games.

    Like

  • John

    It’s not about intent. It’s about unnatural position affecting the trajectory of the ball. In this case a cross in front of goal.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Yes, and unless you think it’s natural for players to allow themselves to fall on their faces, his arm was in as natural a position as can be.

    Like

  • Ski Fast!

    I hate MLS defense. I see too much of a lack of following markers, lack of composure on the ball, thoughtless and inaccurate long balls 40 yards up the field. The level of quality of defense for our league has been poor for so long. For me, defense has been holding back progress because it doesn’t provide any impetus for attacking players in the league to become quicker of thought and more sophisticated. Until defense improves, our teams will not win in Mexico.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    This scoreline is unfortunate for TFC. They were toe to toe for the first hour.

    But maaaaan, TFC needs centerbacks.

    Like

  • Citronomics

    And considering the variety of goals he scores and the sharpness of his runs in the box, I think it’s fair to assert that Klinsi should find a way to get Gomez into his scheme for a few matches.

    Like

  • CSD

    “Seriously they have a punchers chance. TFC can score goals so you never know. If Santos doesn’t score in the first 15 minutes it should at least be an interesting game. I personally think TFC will be in for a while then Santos will score 2 goals in a 5 minute stretch or less and the dream will be over.”
    April 04, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    From my post earlier today. No surprise here…

    Like

  • CSD

    Gomez looked like he was taking candy from children on his two goals. “Send the ball forward. I will be up there alone. The guy covering me sucks. I’ll just hold junior off and shoot, no problem.”

    Like

  • Roberto

    Femexfut fan here, i have never seen TFC play in MLS but based on CCL, how come everyone says TFC is worst team in MLS … are you sure? If they are, then I would say MLS has pretty good teams, maybe I’ll start watching them.

    Like

  • CSD

    They have 0 points in league play. They have scored 1 goal in 3 games and given up 7. They are the only team in the league that has been around more than 2 years that hasn’t made the playoffs.

    Like

  • Roberto

    Wow, that is a bad record…do they use a different team in MLS or something? If so, should use this one and keep the same formation. It works. They were really standing toe to toe with Santos. A bad penalty call and unfortunate loss of concentrating towards end doomed them, but otherwise they were good.

    Like

  • CSD

    That is how they play almost all their games. Look good on offense and lack full concentration on defense.

    Like

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