Toronto FC went down to Monterrey into "El Vulcan" -- Tigres' Estadio Universitario that goes by the nickname "The Volcano" -- and got a result that sent it into the semifinals of the Concacaf
Champions League, completing an historic MLS sweep of Liga MX opponents on Tuesday.
Toronto FC won the first leg, 2-1, and remained in control most of the way in Monterrey, leading 1-0
and then 2-1. Tigres got two late goals from French star Andre-Pierre Gignac to win the second leg, 3-2, but TFC won the series thanks it its two away goals.
CCL Schedule: SEMIFINALS New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders/Guadalajara winner Toronto FC vs. Club America/Tauro
winner Dates:April 3-5, April 10-12. FINAL Dates:April 17-19, April 24-26.
The Reds used the same formula -- Sebastian Giovinco's magic touch on free kicks and their depth -- that took them to
the top of MLS.
An own goal by Rafael Carioca put TFC ahead in the 64th minute and Giovinco's free kick gave TFC the second away goal that proved to be the difference when the
series ended, 4-4.
Toronto FC was outshot 19-3 but did enough attacking to unnerve the Tigres' defense.
On the first goal, Jonathan Osorio and Giovinco played a
one-two, and with keeper Nahuel Guzman beaten the Italian looked for Jozy Altidore in the middle but watched his ball into the area played into the empty net by Carioca.
Guzman got a hand on Giovinco's free kick to the near post but could only play it off the woodwork and into the goal.
TFC's depth was lauded in its march to its treble last season, and
it was critical in keeping it close at "El Vulcan," where Tigres has only lost once in 16 CCL games.
Chris Mavinga, TFC's best player in the first half, and Justin Morrow
had to leave the game, but TFC coach Greg Vanney was able to bring on new Brazilian signing Auro Jr. and Nick Hagglund. After Giovinco's go-ahead goal, Spaniard Victor
Vazquez, a key to TFC's championship campaign, came on.
March 13 in Monterrey Tigres 3 Toronto FC 2. Goals: Vargas 69, Gignac 84, pen. 90+3; own goal 64, Giovinco 73. Tigres
-- Guzman; Acosta (Damm 46), Ayala, Juninho, Torres Nilo; Carioca (Zelarayan 72), Duenas, Sosa, Vargas, Aquino; Gignac. Toronto FC -- Bono; Zavaleta, Moor, Mavinga (Hagglund 62); van
der Wiel, Morrow (Auro 15), Bradley, Delgado (Vazquez 75), Osorio; Altidore, Giovinco