Toronto FC breaks seal at home to win battle of champions

MLS champion Toronto FC rallied from a goal down in the second half to beat reigning Mexican champion Tigres, 2-1, in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series.

Chilean Eduardo Vargas put Tigres, the 2017 Torneo Apertura champion, ahead in the 52nd minute, but TFC came right back eight minutes later when Jozy Altidore equalized.

The winner came in the 89th minute when Sebastian Giovinco played a ball into the area and Jonathan Osorio it into the goal with a sweeping motion with the heel of his right foot.

"We had some pressure and did a good job of keeping them in their zone and keeping the wave going," said Osorio. "The ball came back to [Drew] Moor, who put it through to Seba, and Seba took it down and I saw that I was alone and knew he was going to put it across. The ball came a bit behind me so I instinctively I put my leg out to backheel it and it went in."

TFC coach Greg Vanney said the key to the game was Altidore's goal that cancelled out Vargas' goal following some poor play by TFC. It was also the first TFC goal at sloppy BMO Field in three games this year after a 0-0 tie with the Colorado Rapids and 2-0 loss to Columbus Crew SC.

“Even up to that point, I thought we had a few chances that we’d let slip away,” Vanney said. “When you’re playing teams like Tigres, you can’t let too many chances slip away. To get that one and kind of break the seal on the goal — because it’s been a couple games now that we haven’t put one in the back of the net — to break the seal on the goal I think just kind of motivated the team to keep pushing forward and play for the second one and we were able to get that one, which is an important one as we go back to Mexico.”

March 7 in Toronto
Toronto FC 2 Tigres 1. Goals: Altidore 60, Osorio 89; Vargas 52.
Toronto FC -- Bono; Zavaleta (Hagglund 85), Moor, Mavinga; van der Wiel (Auro 80), Delgado (Vazquez 79), Bradley, Osorio, Morrow; Altidore, Giovinco.
Tigres -- Guzman; Jimenez, Ayala, Juninho, Torres Nilo; L.Vasquez (Acosta 74), Duenas, Aquino, Zelarayan (Sosa 78); Valencia (Gignac 46), Vargas.
Att.: 25,587.

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