It wasn’t for lack of effort nor chances, but Toronto FC are out of the 2019 Concacaf Champions League after falling 5-1 on aggregate to Independiente FC of Panama on Tuesday night. The Reds came away from the home leg with a 1-1 draw, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 4-0 deficit they saddled themselves with in last week’s away leg.
In frigid temperatures, TFC looked far more comfortable moving the ball compared to their Central American opponents. Their spirited attack gave them a goal from Jordan Hamilton in the 19th minute off quite a nice header, but they couldn’t capitalize on any of their subsequent chances — abundant though they were.
TFC had chance after chance throughout the end of the first half and the first 20 minutes or so of the second, and they made the Panamanian keeper work extraordinarily hard, but a critical error by Laurent Ciman around the 70th minute spelled doom for the Reds (who were already running out of options in attack). The goal against the run of play was all Independiente needed to kill off the tie.
This will definitely be a CCL campaign to forget for TFC. Although they certainly showed signs of life on Tuesday, with several well-executed attacking moves that didn’t quite pan out, but again it was a lack of clinical finishing and some severe errors that buried them in the end.
There was also a ton of Concacafing.
In happier news, TFC have signed Jozy Altidore to a contract extension until 2022, according to Kristian Jack. That, along with the fact that the Reds can now focus solely on the 2019 MLS season, should be some consolation tonight.
Major credit, by the way, is due to the TFC (and, by the looks of it, Independiente) fans who braved the Arctic temperatures to support the club at a low moment.
Shots: TOR 28, CAI 6
Shots on target: TOR 10, CAI 3
Possession: TOR 75%, CAI 25%
Fouls: TOR 14, CAI 13
TFC’s Man of the Match
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