For the second time in four years, an MLS team from Canada will play for the CONCACAF Champions League title.
Bringing a 3-1 aggregate lead into the second leg at Estadio Azteca, Toronto FC only needed to keep Club America at bay in order to move on to the final. Not only did they keep the Mexican giants off the scoreboard, but they grabbed a goal of their own on the 12 minute from Jonathan Osorio to calm their nerves and allow them to defend their way to a 1-1 result and a 4-2 aggregate victory.
Club America’s game plan was understandably aggressive. They needed at least a pair of goals without conceding in order to flip the result from the opening leg in Toronto. The Reds defended well, but were always in search of a much needed away goal to make America’s job that much tougher.
Although it didn’t look great for the visitors early on after Jozy Altidore was forced off after only six minutes of play, Toronto FC got just what they needed early on thanks to a breakdown in the Club America defense. Tosaint Ricketts managed to barrel through the America back line before he picked out Jonathan Osorio for an easy tap in to give Toronto their away goal in a 4-1 aggregate lead and 1-0 lead in the match.
Club America can’t say they didn’t have their chances, though. They appeared to get on the board in the 20th minute through an own goal, but the original ball in was ruled offside and it came off the board. They also had a decent shout at a penalty in the 55th minute when Drew Moor tripped an already falling Renato Ibarra in the penalty area.
Those don’t include the several great saves Alex Bono came up with throughout the match. His best effort came in the 28th minute when he robbed Paul Aguilar of a spectacular diving header.
In total, Club America launched 28 shots at Bono’s goal and he stopped all six that were on target from open play.
The hosts did bag themselves a consolation goal in the second minute of stoppage time after a questionable handball in the penalty area gifted them a penalty, but Andres Uribe’s spot kick was the last action of the match.
Toronto FC now moves on to the CONCACAF Champions League Final, where they will take on Chivas de Guadalajara over two legs beginning next week will all the confederation’s marbles on the line. The first leg will take place at BMO Field.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alex Bono was the wall Toronto FC needed him to be in goal. His save on Aguilar was legendary, but he made a number of key stops throughout the night as he was pelted with shot after shot by a very aggressive Club America attack.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Jonathan Osorio’s goal turned what was already a furious search for goals by Club America into something else all together. The early tally allowed Toronto to concentrate on defending and not have to worry about the odd mistake here and there.
MATCH TO FORGET
Club America’ finishing left a lot to be desired, Oribe Peralta in particular will look back and feel like he could have done more.