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FT: Toronto FC 3-1 Club América — Gritty performance gives TFC the edge

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An incredible night under the lights.

Soccer: Concacaf Champions League-Club America at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

FT: That’s it! Toronto FC will take a 3-1 lead into the Estadio Azteca next week.

It wasn’t always the prettiest performance from TFC, but some timely golazos from Jozy Altidore and Ashtone Morgan put the Reds out in front. Where does this performance rank among the most impressive in club history?

We’ll have plenty more coverage of the game in the days to come. For highlights of tonight’s match, there’s plenty to relive below in this article. Don’t forget to Rate the Reds, either!


85’ — Jozy Altidore leaves the pitch to a huge standing ovation, as Tosaint Ricketts comes on to replace him.

84’ — HUGE stop by Alex Bono to deny Henry Martin a critical second away goal for Club América. At this point, the game’s more about closing things out than scoring again. Maybe that’s why Vanney’s hanging onto his subs.

74’ — Greg Vanney makes his first substitution of the game, bringing Nico Hasler on for Marky Delgado. Possibly a move to the diamond for his side?

64’ — Morgan just pickpocketed an América player in the box. This is real life. Also, worth watching the whole play leading to his goal.

58’ Toronto FC 3-1 Club América — Ashtone Morgan, are you kidding me?! Sublime buildup play from Toronto FC; Morgan wins the ball, Jozy Altidore makes an incredible pass to Marky Delgado who lays it off to Auro. The Brazilian’s deadly pass gets all the way to Morgan’s sliding foot, and TFC’s hometown hero puts them up 3-1.

54’ — Club América add another attacking option to their eleven by swapping out left-back Carlos Vargas for U.S. international Joe Corona.

46’ — Back out for the second! Sounds like there was some kind of skirmish in the tunnel, but no disciplinary action seems to have come from it.


HT — The Reds go into halftime with a lead. Whew.


43’ Toronto FC 2-1 Club América — Jozy freaking Altidore everybody. He chases down a loooong pass from Sebastian Giovinco, holds off Carlos Vargas, and smashes it into the net. The Reds are back in front right on the edge of halftime!!

25’ — Yellow card to Andrés Uribe. Club América now have six players on a yellow card; another to any of them would mean a suspension.

20’ Toronto FC 1-1 Club América — Andrés Ibarguen scores a beauty to level the score at one. Walks right through TFC’s back line and Michael Bradley, but the finish was decisive. Not a great look for Drew Moor, though.

14’ — Yellow card to Sebastian Giovinco for a kick on a Club América player he fouled from behind. A shoving match between most of both sides ensues, but Seba's caution is all that comes of it.

8’ Toronto FC 1-0 Club América — SEBA IS REDEEMED! He draws a (questionable) penalty, and he buries it straight down the middle! That’s one HELL of a start.

1’ — Here we go!

Nearly gametime. Greg Vanney is preparing to make his Toronto FC debut at striker.


Get your umbrellas ready folks, it’s gonna be a wet one. Toronto FC host Club América at BMO Field tonight, and the forecasts are calling for a heck of a lot of rain and wind at kickoff — as much as 30 mm of precipitation, with the possibility of a severe wind warning as the night progresses.

Anyway, the Reds are preparing as we speak for their first Concacaf Champions League semi-final appearance since 2012 (when they were beaten 7-3 by Santos Laguna). They'd like to think they'll be more competitive this time, having already dispatched of an arguably better team in Tigres UANL.

As I mentioned in this morning’s prediction league, I have genuinely no idea how this might go. TFC could come out swingin’ in the rain, scoring a couple of ugly goals on a difficult surface. Or, they could be outmatched, as América coach Miguel Herrera seems to expect.

This surely won’t be a particularly technical game, nor will it be very fast. Although both sides feature plenty of skill, I don’t think this will be the place for them to show it. Instead, TFC will rely on the strength and composure of the likes of Michael Bradley to keep things under control and moving forward.

The major advantage Toronto have in this game probably will be the weather, of course. Tigres’ players definitely looked uncomfortable in the cold when they played at BMO, and it’s slated to be around four degrees Celsius tonight. That’s nothing compared to some of the conditions TFC have played in, but it’ll definitely be pretty chilly compared to Mexico City, where the high was 23 degrees today.

América sit fourth in Liga MX through 13 games, having won their most recent contest 2-1 over Cruz Azul. They're one of the most historic sides in Mexico, having won the Concacaf competition a record seven times, and playing in the world-renowned Estadio Azteca.

Where are your nerves at right now? Are you confident, or terrified?

Team news: injuries & suspensions

Toronto FC: Justin Morrow (calf) is doubtful to play tonight, and Nick Hagglund (hamstring) is out for six weeks. Victor Vazquez (back) and Chris Mavinga (groin) may be in the mix for selection, though.

As for suspensions, only Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore are at risk I believe. They’d miss the second leg if they received a yellow card tonight.

Club América: América will be without a few pieces of their lineup, including injured Frenchman Jérémy Ménez, goalkeeper Oscar Jiménez, and Darwin Quintero, who recently transferred to Minnesota United. There's also a chance they'll be missing captain Oribe Peralta, who came off injured on Saturday in América's match against Cruz Azul.

Five players would be suspended at their next yellow card: Emanuel Aguilera, Carlos Vargas, Cecilio Dominguez, Paul Aguilar, and Alejandro Diaz.

Pre-game reading

Predicting Toronto FC's lineup against Club América (Benedict Rhodes)
Toronto FC Prediction League 2018: Round 8 (vs. Club América) (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
Getting to know Club América (Gianluca Lia)
Scouting the Enemy: Q&A with FMF State of Mind (Gianluca Lia)
Club América coach: “Our league doesn’t compete with the MLS” (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
The Artist’s Block: What to do about Giovinco’s penalties (Tej Sahota)

How to watch

Match date/time: 8 p.m. EST, Tuesday, April 3
TV: TSN 1 (Canada), RDS 2 (en français), Fox Sports Cono Norte (Mexico), Univision Deportes (USA)
Live stream: TSN Go (Canada), go90.com

Lineups

Toronto FC:

Club América: