Toronto FC qualifies for quarter-final stage
Posted on 18 October 2011 in FIFA Club World CupToronto FC has qualified for the quarter-final stage of 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League. With a 3:0 victory over FC Dallas on Tuesday 18 October, Toronto FC has guaranteed itself either first or second place in Group C. As such, Toronto FC will be one of eight teams that advances from this year's group round to next year's quarter-final phase.
Toronto FC is the second Canadian team to reach the quarter-final phase in just the fourth year of CONCACAF Champions League. In 2008-09, Impact Montréal reached the quarter-final phase; this year, it is Toronto FC's turn to represent Canada.
The full lineup of CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final teams will be determined Thursday 20 October after the last of the group matches are played. Two teams from each group (four separate groups) will qualify for the quarter-final stage.
In the Tuesday 18 October victory, Danny Koevermans opened the scoring and Joao Plata added a brace for a 3:0 victory. Koevermans opened the scoring in the 29th minute before Plata added goals in the 69th and 81st minutes.
For this match, Toronto FC's starting XI featured Milos Koèiæ in goal, Ty Harden, Andy Iro, Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan along the back, and Torsten Frings, Julian de Guzman, Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson, Joao Plata and Nicky Soolsma from the midfield up through to the attack.
In the second half, coach Aron Winter switched de Guzman for Terry Dunfield (80th minute), Plata for Peri Marosevic (85'), and Koevermans for Nate Sturgis (90').
Three Toronto players were shown a yellow card by the referee: Iro, Soolsma and de Guzman.
Of note, it marked the fifth CONCACAF Champions League match in a row that coach Winter featured four Canadian players. Over the last four seasons, at least four Canadians have featured for Canada's CONCACAF Champions League team in 26 of 28 matches.
CONCACAF Champions League is a 24-club championship featuring teams from across the confederation. The confederation champion will advance to the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2012.