Toronto FC 1, CA Independiente 1 | 2019 Concacaf Champions League Recap
Toronto FC vs. CAI - Game Highlights
Catch all the action of CAI Panamá’s historic 1-1 draw against Toronto FC #SCCL2019 #TORvCAIPosted by Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League on Tuesday, February 26, 2019
The spirit was willing, but the summit too steep for Toronto FC on Tuesday night, as their 2019 Concacaf Champions League run shuddered to a premature close with a 1-1 draw at BMO Field vs. Club Atletico Independiente. The result sealed passage from the Round of 16 for the Panamanians by a 5-1 aggregate scoreline.
Facing a daunting 4-0 series deficit thanks to their stunning collapse in Central America last week, the Reds started the evening brightly, completely dominating the early stages with assertive play assisted by sub-freezing temperatures. Homegrown forward Jordan Hamilton headed the hosts into a deserved lead that fueled hopes of an unlikely comeback.
TFC's finishing nous deserted them the rest of the way, however, as they failed to convert an array of opportunities, including via several sterling saves by CAI goalkeeper Jose Guerra.
Their already-long odds grew further as the second half ticked away, but another miscue by offseason signing Laurent Ciman effectively clinched victory for the visitors. The Belgian center back handed Omar Browne a breakaway when he misplayed a header, flicking the ball into space behind the TFC back line, and Browne dispatched the chance clinically, rounding Alex Bono to net a timely away goal.
- 19' – TOR – Jordan Hamilton
- 67' – CAI – Omar Browne
Toronto FC (4-4-2): Alex Bono -- Auro Jr. (Drew Moor 76’), Laurent Ciman, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow -- Marky Delgado, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio (Tsubasa Endoh 76’), Nick DeLeon -- Jordan Hamilton, Ayo Akinola (Terrence Boyd 63’)
Club Independiente La Chorrera (4-4-2): José Guerra -- Omar Córdoba, Gerardo Negrete, Manuel Torres, Francisco Vence -- Omar Browne (Alexis Corpas 85’), Abdiel Ayarza (Porfirio Ávila 83’), Gustavo Bolívar, Romeesh Ivey -- Juan González, Jorman Aguilar (Rubén Barrow 71’)
- THE BIG PICTURE: Toronto gave their fans at least some reason for optimism after last week's nightmare, their younger players in particular, though it's anyone's guess where the Reds' 2019 season will go from here.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ciman's error was the final nail in the coffin for this game; the evening's brightest spot for TFC fans may well have been the Kristian Jack report that Jozy Altidore is set to sign a new contract.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: His teammates at times looked overwhelmed by the cold Canadian conditions, so Jose Guerra's heroics in goal were critical for CAI in terms of staunching TFC's intensity and preventing the game from spinning out of their control.
- TOR: Saturday, March 2 at Philadelphia (1 pm ET | TSN 1/4 in Canada, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in USA)