Following his side’s away goal victory over Mexican powerhouse Tigres UANL on Tuesday night, Chris Mavinga made his way back to the bus with his Toronto FC teammates. As him and his teammates celebrated their victory, an unexpected visitor made his way to the door of the bus: Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac.
Gignac, 32, scored two of his side’s three goals in a 3-2 victory over Toronto, but the two teams finished 4-4 over the two legs. The away goals tiebreaker means that The Reds advance to the semifinals, as they scored two in Monterrey and Tigres only managed one in Toronto. It would have been easy for the French international to go back to the locker room and sulk but he instead decided to track down his compatriot Mavinga. He gave him a signed Tigres jersey, congratulating him on the victory and catching up with the TFC defender. The two faced off in France’s Ligue 1 several times, as they both played there for a few years. Gignac is also friends with former Toronto FC midfielder and current academy coach Benoit Cheyrou because they played together at Olympique Marseille for four seasons.
On Instagram, Mavinga posted a photo of the two together with the caption: “Much respect @10apg Thank you again for your congratulations and encouragement yesterday! Qualified for concacaf champions league semi final”.
It was a classy gesture from Gignac, and certainly not one that was expected or necessary.
As mentioned, Toronto FC have now qualified for the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, and will likely play Mexican side Club America. The Mexican side have a 4-0 advantage going into their second leg against Panamanian side Tauro FC. First, however, they must focus on this Saturday’s match, 2018’s first edition of the 401 Derby against their bitter rivals, the Montreal Impact.