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Recap: Mistakes cost Toronto FC in disastrous CCL opener

A massacre in La Chorrera.

MLS: Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC’s 2019 Concacaf Champions League began in cataclysmic fashion on Tuesday as the Reds fell 4-0 in La Chorrera, Panama to Independiente.

The night started badly when Abdiel Ayarza scored for the home side in just the ninth minute of action, taking advantage of some sluggish defending and firing it home through Chris Mavinga’s legs.

Things did not improve from there. The Reds sent in several waves of attack through the rest of the first half, making the keeper work on several occasions, and eventually won a penalty after a short period of sustained attack. Hoping to score his first TFC goal on his debut in a red shirt, Terrence Boyd stepped up to take it, but it turns out he, too, is afflicted with the spot kick curse that has plagued Toronto for a while now.

TFC made no changes at halftime, and they were quickly made to pay for it. Just minutes into the second 45, Omar Browne sidestepped a sliding Laurent Ciman and finished with quite a pretty shot from outside the box that sailed over Alex Bono.

It’s a good goal, but that’s a poor play by the defender, who should’ve stayed on his feet.

And when we’d just about given up on the game, our attention was quickly drawn back to it in the 52nd minute. TFC’s backline was caught pressing way too high once again as Mavinga failed to keep up with the attacker, who laid it off for Romeesh Ivey.

The next half hour or so went pretty quickly as TFC launched several stunted attacks before conceding again, embarrassingly, in the 78th minute as Ivey scored his second of the match.

It was excruciating to watch from a Toronto FC perspective, but full credit must be given to Independiente for what’s surely one of the best results in club history, a 4-0 victory against the favoured MLS team.

It doesn’t look much like TFC will be repeating their cycle of losing a final on penalties and winning it the next year. Heading back home to BMO Field next week with a 4-0 deficit, the Reds will be extremely hard-pressed to salvage their Concacaf Champions League campaign.

In (possibly?) positive news, TFC handed first-team debuts to four players: Terrence Boyd, Laurent Ciman, Griffin Dorsey, and Jacob Shaffelburg. What did you think of them? The first three of that list were front-and-centre for several of the club’s ugliest moments tonight, but Shaffelburg had some moments of exciting pace and skill.


Shots: TFC 7, CAI 13
Shots on target: TFC 0, CAI 5
Possession: TFC 70%, CAI 30%
Fouls: TFC 14, CAI 9

TFC’s Man of the Match

Is it even worth it?


Who was TFC’s man of the match?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Jonathan Osorio
    (59 votes)
  • 3%
    (15 votes)
  • 54%
    Jacob Shaffelburg
    (241 votes)
  • 28%
    Other (comment!)
    (128 votes)
443 votes total Vote Now

(We’re trying something new with our game coverage this year, by the way. Stay tuned.)