90’ — You can’t say TFC gave up. They had a decent number of chances in the dying moments of the game, fighting right down to the wire for one more dignity-redeeming goal. It didn’t come, but they did not stop pushing. Just wasn’t their night.
84’ — Multiple CAI players have now been carried off the pitch on a stretcher.
76’ — Tsubasa Endoh (for Osorio) and Drew Moor (for Auro) come into the match to complete TFC’s subs.
68’ Toronto FC 1-1 Independiente (1-5 agg.) — And it’s over. An absolutely brutal header from Laurent Ciman and a big missed tackle from Chris Mavinga and Browne is in on goal all alone. Not a tough one for him to put away and give his club its away marker.
62’ — Terrence Boyd comes in for TFC, replacing Ayo Akinola, after Laurent Ciman misses from a dangerous spot with a lot of traffic in front of him.
50’ — We’re back out for the second, and TFC have already had several very good chances. They’re really making this CAI keeper earn his win.
HT — Well, not bad. TFC had tons of chances in that opening half, but only one goal to show for it. What’s your read on the first 45?
39’ — Alex Bono makes his first save of the night. A decently deceptive effort from far out, but he gets it low to his right.
33’ — The CAI keeper just made quite a spectacular diving save off his left post as Hamilton nearly slotted another header in.
25’ — An excellent through ball from Osorio seemed to put Morrow through, but the keeper came out well to cut him off and his defender cleared it from near the goal line. TFC are buzzing.
19’ Toronto FC 1-0 Independiente (1-4 agg.) — We’re in it! A great cross from Morrow is knocked home by a very athletic header from Jordan Hamilton, who looked unbelievable fired up to get TFC on the board. 70 minutes left to play.
14’ — This happened. Weird shove from DeLeon, but I can’t help thinking that people don’t really fall like that. This after Osorio spent some time on the ground after a harsh tackle.
9’ — Independiente have only really had the ball like once, on a counter that was snuffed out fairly well. Very impassioned start from the Reds.
4’ — This isn’t going to be a fast-paced game. TFC seem the more potent side in the early stages but also vulnerable to the counter (again). Also, this is a dangerous temperature to pick up knocks and cramps in, which Jonathan Osorio looked like he may have.
1’ — Here we go! Alex Bono is rocking a turtleneck, the CAI players look MISERABLE, and Toronto FC will kick off the first half toward the north end.
Independiente: They order their lineup by shirt number (shakes fist)
Toronto FC: First team debut for Nick DeLeon, and starts for both Jordan Hamilton and Ayo Akinola:
Bench: Patterson-Sewell, Moor, Endoh, Morgan, Chapman, Shaffelburg, Boyd
Remember how much we all sorely missed Toronto FC games being played at -9 in the snow? Yeah, me neither.
TFC host Independiente de la Chorrera tonight at BMO Field in their first home game of 2019, and it’s going to be a chilly one. The current forecast is calling for a balmy -9 at kickoff, which’ll feel like -16, with a bit of a breeze and possibly even some snow. For reference, today it’s 33 degrees down in Panama.
So, if ever there were circumstances for TFC to overcome a 4-0 aggregate deficit, it’s these. The Reds must be used to playing in frigid environments by now, having played several Concacaf Champions League games in the cold last season and a handful of freezing MLS Cup Playoff games the previous two. Many of the Panamanian players, however, may never even have felt temperatures this cold, let alone played football in them.
The home side have a lot of work to do tonight, needing at least four goals (if they don’t concede any) to stand a chance. They’ll need to use the conditions to their advantage — the pitch is apparently quite slow and sandy, although it looks more intact than this time last year (
thank you hybrid surface! I have been informed that the pitch is not yet hybrid). If TFC start strong and get a goal or two early, before the visitors have a chance to acclimate to the cold, then they’re in business.
If, however, TFC are sluggish off the drop and don’t score early, they may be in trouble. The longer they go without scoring, the more the pressure will mount. For a team that’s trailing 4-0, they’re certainly not as out of the tie as they could be. Still, they desperately need to capitalize on their opportunities and put the opponents on the back foot.
Are you going to the match? Are you looking forward to it? How many layers are you going to wear?
Team news: injuries & suspensions
Toronto FC: Jozy Altidore has been confirmed to miss this game. Other previously injured players — Nick DeLeon, Eriq Zavaleta, and (I believe) Drew Moor — should be ready to go.
Independiente: I have no idea.
Treatment for Hypothermia (WebMD)
Recipe for Baileys Hot Chocolate (Baileys.com)
How to watch
Match date/time: Tuesday, February 26, 8 p.m.
TV channel: TSN 1 & 4
Live stream: Yahoo Sports