A pair of “presence of mind” plays has put Toronto FC in a strong position to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Toronto is 90 minutes away from reaching the final four of the continental competition for only the second time in franchise history after earning a 2-1 win against Mexican side Tigres in last week’s opening leg of its quarter-final series at BMO Field.
The Reds’ three designated players featured prominently in the victory. Captain Michael Bradley bossed the midfield with his tireless running, Jozy Altidore scored the tying goal, and fellow forward Sebastian Giovinco set up the winner.
But it was moments of sublime skill and awareness from a pair of young midfielders, Canadian Jonathan Osorio (25) and Marky Delgado (22), that proved to be the difference on the night for Toronto.
If the first leg was any indication, both Osorio and Delgado could be the difference again on Tuesday night when TFC faces Tigres in the return match in Monterrey.
Tigres stunned the crowd at BMO Field into silence when Chilean international Eduardo Vargas opened the scoring in the 52nd minute. Instead of buckling under the pressure after going down, Toronto reasserted itself and wrestled control of the game from its Mexican opponents just eight minutes later when Altidore levelled the score.
Altidore took his chance with aplomb, fighting off a Tigres defender insider the box before finishing with a low shot that beat goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman. It was Delgado’s gorgeous, perfectly executed one-touch pass, though, that unlocked the Mexicans’ defence and sent Altidore in on goal.
The quality of Delgado’s pass was of the highest quality. What didn’t get nearly enough recognition was his positioning in the middle of the pitch, and how he remained patient as the play unfolded down the left flank.
“Tigres had …read more
Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sport