Toronto FC’s Concacaf Champions League dream ended on Wednesday night in heartbreaking fashion.
After erasing a 2-1 deficit via a 2-1 away push of their own, TFC fell short, 4-2, in penalty kicks in Wednesday’s final. Goals from Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore pushed TFC through regulation, but TFC fell short from the spot when it mattered most.
In penalty kicks, Chivas converted their first shot while Giovinco buried TFC’s first. Chivas made their second as well before Jonathan Osorio’s shot clanged off the crossbar and out, giving the hosts the advantage.
Both teams made their third shot before Chivas converted their fourth as well. In need of a make, Michael Bradley’s shot went over the bar as Chivas claimed their first continental title since 1962.
Chivas struck early with the game’s opener, even if it did little to change the task ahead for TFC. Orbelin Pineda scored 19 minutes into push the aggregate score to 3-1, although the challenge remained the same for a TFC side in need of two goals.
The first of those goals came in the 25th minute from Altidore. Following some magnificent hold-up play from Nicolas Hasler, the TFC midfielder fired a pass to Altidore, who’s first time shot restored TFC’s hopes.
Giovinco took it a step further just before halftime, pushing the score to 3-3 while evening the away goals tiebreaker. Giovinco’s shot was a low-driven roller to the near post that trickled past Rodolfo Cota to level the series.
Throughout the second half, TFC held on for dear life, especially as the challenge became even more difficult due to a variety of circumstances. With all four centerbacks out of the lineup, the defense held on fairly well but, following the departure of Jozy Altidore due to injury, TFC held on for penalty kicks.
Once there, it fell apart, though, as Chivas stayed perfect to seal the win.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sebastian Giovinco was dangerous throughout in a match where he was, at times, the only legitimate attacking outlet.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
With the game on the line with moments remaining, Marky Delgado missed a close-range volley, sending the match to penalty kicks.
MATCH TO FORGET
Michael Bradley and Jonathan Osorio were solid enough through the 90 minutes, but the missed penalties headlined a missed opportunity for TFC.