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CCL Rewind: Toronto FC, Union secure second leg wins to earn quarterfinal berths

For the second-straight Concacaf Champions League tournament, Liga MX side Club Leon was eliminated at the hands of MLS opposition as Toronto FC advanced to the quarterfinals.

Second-half goals from Patrick Mullins and Nick DeLeon helped Chris Armas earn his first victory as TFC head coach as the Canadian club won Wednesday’s second leg 2-1 in Florida. Toronto FC advanced 3-2 on aggregate, setting up a quarterfinal date with Cruz Azul later this month.

Mullins scored the opening goal of the tie, beating Rodolfo Cota in the 55th minute. Jacob Shaffelburg created enough space to connect with the veteran forward, before Mullins hit a low drive into the bottom-right corner.

Justin Morrow doubled TFC’s lead in the 71st minute, following up on a rebound and scoring his first goal of the season.

Despite an 80th minute finish from Fernando Navarro, the defending Liga MX Champions were bounced from the competition at the Round of 16 stage. Club Leon will rue their missed opportunities in both legs, seeing Alex Bono make six saves on Wednesday night’s affair.

TFC will now turns its sights to MLS Opening Weekend, where it will face the Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Union routs Saprissa to reach quarters

The Philadelphia Union grinded their way to a first leg win in Costa Rica last week and followed that up with a more convincing performance at Subaru Park on Wednesday night.

Jim Curtin’s side eliminated Deportivo Saprissa thanks to a 4-0 second leg victory in Chester, advancing 4-0 on aggregate. Anthony Fontana and Kacper Przybylko each scored while Jamiro Monteiro scored twice as the Union set up a quarterfinal date with fellow MLS side Atlanta United.

After a scoreless first-half between the two sides, the Union broke the deadlock early after halftime. Fontana drew a penalty kick and Monteiro’s effort was stroked down the middle for a 1-0 Union advantage.

Przybylko made up for his first-half misses by heading home his second goal of the tie, rising high to double the Union’s advantage on the night.

Fontana continued his strong performance by calling his own number for the Union’s third and final goal. The midfielder got into the box before hitting a low drive into the bottom-left corner for his first goal of the season.

Monteiro slotted home his second goal of the night before stoppage time, capping off a dominant performance at home for the Union.

The defending Supporters Shield winners next opens up its MLS schedule on Sunday at the Columbus Crew.

Comments

  1. Mexican teams dont put importance in the Conca Champions League. They rather be playing the tournaments with Conmebol teams. Did anyone see the ridicoulous fouls the team did against club america yesterday?

    Reply
    • So, you’re telling us that Monterrey last year didn’t care that they got to play Bayern Munich in the final for the world’s club championship? To say Mexican teams don’t care about the CCL is pretty much nonsense.

      Reply
  2. …is it too early to start the “Bradley to Qatar in 2022” bus?? 🙂 I know, he has a lonnnng way to go, and there are a lot of haters out there, but would be great for program continuity and leadership if he came in 2022 as like the 22nd guy. The torch never got passed from the previous generation (thanks to 2018’s disaster) so this would be a great way to do it.

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    • Yes it is too early. The last few seasons he’s been out of gas by late Summer. Look at what he did last night and ask yourself is there anything there that any of the younger guys couldn’t do and do it better and faster?

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  3. I think this is the best showing by MLS at this stage in history. I really expected Toronto to lose since they didn’t play very well in their first leg and they don’t have Pozuelo, their best player. Until the went into a defensive shell I think they outplayed Leon. I think MLS is really on a par with Liga MX now.

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    • Since 2018 it sure has looked like it on the field. The finals victory has simply not happened due to various reasons. It will come but it would be nice to fonally get it this year. Also, the gap between the middle and bottom of Liga MX teams continues to grow. The bottom of MX is a mess TBH. I feel the bottom and middle of MLS are already ahead of MX. Now to finally win a few of these at the top end.

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    • It has been a great first round but let’s wait to see if we win any of the quarterfinals before we say equal to Liga Mx. Leon is mid-table this round, had to play over the weekend and had to travel so Toronto had some advantages even if half the roster was missing.

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      • Don’t forget that last year LAFC beat 3 different Mexican teams to get to the CCL final and pretty much outplayed Tigres in the first half of the final. LAFC ran out of gas about the 65th minutes because their previous game had gone to 30 minutes of extra time

    • If MLS can get through the semis, they’d have the advantage as Liga Mx would be in preseason form for the semi first leg in August. It would be nice if Columbus can get by Monterrey because that would assure an MLS club in the finals.

      Reply

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