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Chivas seizes advantage with first leg win over TFC in CCL final

Toronto FC will have a lot of work to do in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final.

Chivas de Guadalajara came into BMO Field and emerged with a 2-1 win, putting TFC in a major hole heading into next week’s second leg. As a result, TFC will need to score at least twice in Mexico to have any chance of winning the Concacaf Champions League.

The MLS side got off to the worst possible start as Rodolfo Pizarro scored less than two minutes in. The goal came from a throw-in, as TFC’s defense failed to clear a subsequent ball across the box, leading to the first-time shot from Pizarro.

TFC battled back through Jonathan Osorio, whose back post run in the 19th minute was rewarded by a Marky Delgado cross. Osorio finished to restore the tie as TFC woke up for the rest of the first half.

In the 72nd, though, Chivas got their second on a looping free kick. Alan Pulido’s long-distance shot went up and over Alex Bono, giving Chivas the vital second away goal.

Toronto FC will now have it all to play for in the second leg, which will be played at the Estadio Akron next Wednesday.


Alan Pulido’s goal may have been a bit fortunate, but his performance sure wasn’t. The Chivas midfielder was all over the field throughout the match, contributing on both the attacking and defensive ends.


Pulido’s goal could be the knockout blow for TFC, who will now need to put together at least two goals in Mexico as a result.


Alex Bono will have nightmares about the Pulido finish, as the goalkeeper mistimed his jump and was out of position on what was a bad goal-conceding sequence.


  1. I am torn, so do you give Chivas credit for being bend but don’t break on their defense.

    Our do you blame, Seattle, NY and Toronto for not scoring enough goals that they should have put away. I am in the second camp and the reason I am rooting for TFC. Chivas should NOTdo have gotten past a Seattle team that is having a very rough year.

    • Maybe a different point is should a club like Minnesota, DC United, or Real Salt Lake take on Chivas’s man marking strategy? It’s shut down three of the better teams in MLS.

      • Not so much shut them down. The Red Bull got 20 shots and 9 on goal in one game, but still could not score. There are lots of HS and youth teams that employ man-to-man marking so surely at some point all these players should have experienced it.

        It that system the sweeper is usually free of man-marking and steps up to help whomever needs it. The opposing center back is usually the sweepers ‘mark” if that back goes forward into the attack, it denies the sweeper his freedom to roam. (or leaves the attacking back un-marked). You could see that happen twice in the TFC game as the TFC back carried the ball right up the middle of the field to close to the 18, while the Chivas were all paying attention to their marks closer to the touch-line or behind the play.

        I have always wondered how using a tactic of having the backs advance the ball while the forwards and mids make runs out wide to clear space would work. Sure if that was done too often, the defense would likely figure it out and not follow the wide runs, but as an occasional tool it might unlock the defense and loosen the tight man-marking.

  2. “Alan Pulido’s goal may have been a bit fortunate, but his performance sure wasn’t.”
    He wasn’t fortunate!! He silenced his critics withy a stunning goal!!!!!

  3. Completely agree with Helium. Clear penalty. To the extent the Chivas defender touched the ball is was incidental and only after clanging through Giovinco’s leg. Same scenario in Mexico is a penalty 100% of the time. Maybe the Toronto team should have encircled the ref and complained like they do in leagues south of the rio grande.

    • It seems only the TFC youtube channel had this highlight as all the Mexican networks (and official CONCACAF channel) chose to ignore the blatant non-call for a PK. It is clear as the day of light. Even the referee is clearly watching from 10 ft away but didn’t call it.

      This is CONCACAF corruption at its finest! Phantom goal for Panama, and now this:

      Watch in slow motion at .25 speed at 4:39 from the video or 74:37 game time

  4. Giovinco was clearly fouled in the box late in the game. Why was that not a PK? Defender went for his legs and nowhere near the ball.

  5. for me, what’s nice to see is mls teams playing the real chivas, not the failed mls version of chivas.

  6. Just when you think MLS is about to achieve parity with Liga MX, TFC has to go out and lay a big egg like this. Oh well, maybe next year a team like Atlanta or NYCFC will carry the torch to victory.

    • MLS can’t catch up to liga mx if it keeps spending stupid money in the likes of Bradley and Altidore. This is the kind of game were they need to earn their obscenely inflated paychecks and they were both invisible last night. Pandering to the ignorant and insecure is not a recipe to success.

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  8. I feel deflated after watching that one. Chivas played really well in the 2nd half. TFC can’t blow four or five good looks inside the box and expect to win this thing. Giving up a goal 3′ in; this is a final There is no margin of error! Good luck in Guadalajara. Impossible no. Improbable yes.


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