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FT: Chivas 1-2 Toronto FC — Reds fall on penalties in CCL final

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Spot kicks are just not our thing.

Soccer: Concacaf Champions League-Toronto FC at Guadalajara Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It was an incredible run, wasn’t it?

That’s pretty much all we have to say at the moment. Brutal way to end things.

Congratulations to Chivas.


Toronto FC penalty (4-2) — Ah. It’s still 2016, I see. Michael Bradley shanks it over the bar. It’s over.

Chivas penalty (4-2) — TFC now have to score, as Zaldivar scores his penalty to the left.

Toronto FC penalty (3-2) — Marky Delgado is cold as ice on his penalty, putting it a foot off the right goalpost.

Chivas penalty (3-1) — Pulido scores left side. 3-1 Guadalajara, and it’s starting to get nervy for TFC.

Toronto FC penalty (2-1) — Major flashbacks. Jonathan Osorio puts it off the crossbar after far too many stutter steps.

Chivas penalty (2-1) — Bono guesses the wrong way that time, and it goes past him into the right side of the goal.

Toronto FC penalty (1-1) — SEBA! Giovinco crushes it into... the top right corner?!?!?!?! Who is this man????

Chivas penalty (1-0) — Ahhhhhhh. Alex Bono gets a hand on the ball, but it’s smashed in too hard and that’s a goal.


FT — OH GOD WE’RE GOING TO PENALTIES PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP ME

91’ — Marky Delgado will REALLY want that one back, he just missed an absolute sitter. Giovinco picked him out perfectly in the box, and Delgado sent it over the crossbar.

89’ — Jay Chapman was nearly a hero. Giovinco played a cheeky throw-in to him right down the byline, and he nearly walked it all the way into the net.

87’ — Oh man. Seba comes inches away from the left post after a pretty sweet piece of interplay between him, Osorio, and Aketxe.

85’ — Ager Aketxe has come in to replace Altidore. This would be an unreal time for him to change a whole lot of opinions.

84’ — Auro picks up a late yellow card for a challenge from behind. Not his first questionable tackle of the night, so he was bound to get booked eventually.

82’ — Not good for Jozy. He cramped up on the pitch and immediately signaled to TFC’s bench; looks like he’s going to have to come out.

71’ — That’ll be it for Vazquez. Jay Chapman will come into the game to hopefully see this out. Chivas, on the other hand, have used all their subs I think — tough break with the likes of Perez going out.

61’ — Off the post!! Godinez fires from far out and hits the woodwork. Bono was rooted to the spot. Chivas fans are giving us the BMO Field treatment in the corner with all their streamers.

57’ — Nico Hasler is coming out of the game for... Jordan Hamilton?! Three strikers, I guess. Or Seba’s dropping back to play alongside Vazquez. I don’t know.

46’ — We’re back out for the second half! Please, God, TFC, help me forget that goddamn Leafs game...

44’ Chivas 1-2 Toronto FC — SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO SCORED AN OPEN PLAY GOAL! An incredible solo effort around the edge of the box and a perfect finish short side, and TFC have leveled the tie on aggregate. If the result holds, we get penalties. I have a feeling it won’t, though...

25’ Chivas 1-1 Toronto FC — JOZY! Victor Vazquez sends in the corner, Auro receives it, Nico Hasler puts in an incredible shift of holdup play to keep the ball and send it across goal, and Altidore smashes it into an open goal. TFC are here to play; they need at least one more goal.

19’ Chivas 1-0 Toronto FC — Well, damn. After TFC fail to capitalize on a few chances, Pineda scores to make it 1-0 for the home side. This is an enormous hill to climb for Toronto now.

1’ — We’re off!


This is it, guys. This is the night Toronto FC have been waiting for since they won MLS Cup — in fact, since they won the Canadian Championship. Tonight, TFC have a chance (a slim one, perhaps, but a chance nonetheless) to make history by winning the CONCACAF Champions League. Down 2-1 on aggregate, heading into the Estadio Akron to play C.D. Guadalajara — Chivas, if you prefer — the Reds find themselves once again the underdogs, a place they’ve sat happily all tournament long.

In this run, Toronto FC have relished adversity. They’ve battled injuries, they’ve survived the Azteca, and they held down the fort against some of the best Mexico has been able to throw at them. They’ve never gone into an away leg trailing, though...

Tonight, they prove just how resilient they are. TFC go into this match needing a win and at least two away goals — no easy task against a Chivas team that hasn’t conceded at home in this year’s CCL. They’ll be without four of their starters from the MLS Cup final, but that’s become pretty much the norm for them recently.

I’m not quite sure how TFC will line up tonight, but those injuries might force Greg Vanney’s hand. I’d expect to see Gregory van der Wiel at centre-back again, with Auro out wide. Ashtone Morgan over on the left, too.

It’s important that Sebastian Giovinco gets a lot of touches tonight. I know Michael Perez marked him very tightly last week, but Seba is a far more talented player. All he really has to do is get around Perez twice. Jozy Altidore, too, can definitely bully some of the Chivas backline. They may be sitting back a lot tonight, so TFC will have to throw the kitchen sink at them to score.

Chivas will be hungry tonight. Their fans and players are rallying against their ownership, and they’d love to win this competition — particularly after losing a derby match 1-0 to Atlas on the weekend, in a game where they, too, rested their first team.

Toronto will be too, though. They’ve been representing MLS teams and Canada through the course of the CCL, but things are perhaps a little different this time. The Reds are representing their city tonight — as are the Maple Leafs and Raptors. This is a city that could sure use another boost after Monday’s tragedy.

Michael Bradley and Greg Vanney, as well as the rest of the club, would very well like to give it one.

For Toronto, boys. Make us proud.

Team news: injuries & suspensions

No suspensions anymore, as far as I know. Everybody — Bradley, Giovinco, Altidore, Osorio, Moor, and all the Chivas players — is free.

Toronto FC: Chris Mavinga and Justin Morrow have unfortunately been ruled out, joining Nick Hagglund on the sidelines. Victor Vazquez is a possibility to make the bench, but he certainly won’t play 90 minutes.

Chivas: It looks like the only major injury Chivas is dealing with is a meniscus tear for right-back Jesús Sánchez. Other than that, they’re healthy — Hedgardo Marin and Alan Cervantes are apparently good to go.

Pre-game reading

Hometown boys have led the way for Toronto FC during CCL run (Mitchell Tierney)
‘Like nothing I’ve ever seen’: Bradley praises Toronto first responders (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
Toronto FC CCL game to be shown at Maple Leaf Square (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
Chivas players protesting club ownership ahead of CCL final (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
TFC injuries: Morrow, Mavinga ruled out of CCL final, Vazquez questionable (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
Scouting the enemy: Q&A with FMF State of Mind (Gianluca Lia)

How to watch

Match date/time: 9:30 p.m. EST, Wednesday, April 25
TV: TSN 2 (Canada), Univision Deportes (USA), Fox Sports Cono Norte (Mexico)
Live stream: TSN Go (Canada), go90.com (USA or with VPN)

Or, head down to Maple Leaf square and catch the game at the enormous party MLSE is throwing for all the teams playing tonight.

Lineups

Toronto FC:

Chivas: