Toronto FC take 3-1 lead in Concacaf Champions League semi-finals
Posted on 4 April 2018 in FIFA Club World Cup
Toronto FC took a 3-1 series lead in the 2018 Concacaf Champions League semi-finals after a home victory over Mexico's Club América. Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, and Ashtone Morgan were the goalscorers in the victory.
The return leg of the series is Tuesday 10 April at Estadio Azteca in Mexico, DF, MEX. The away match will kick off at 21.00 local / 22.00 ET / 19.00 PT with a live Canadian broadcast on TSN. Also on 10 April, the other two-match 2018 Concacaf Champions League semi-final series will wrap up between New York Red Bulls and Chivas Guadalajara.
In the 3 April opening leg, Toronto's Giovinco opened the scoring on a penalty in the ninth minute before América's Andrés Ibargüen equalised from inside the box in the 20th minute. Altidore then gave Toronto the 2-1 lead in the 44th minute on an assist from Giovinco.
Morgan then made it 3-1 in the 58th minute.
Toronto FC's starting XI featured Canadians Ashtone Morgan at left back and Jonathan Osorio at midfield. Tosaint Ricketts featured as a substitute, Jay Chapman and Liam Fraser dressed as substitutes, while Jordan Hamilton did not dress.
"We dug deep, got the three goals, and we now want to carry on (next week) in Mexico in the second leg," said the goalscorer Morgan. "This is my club and my city. I will do what I need to do for my team and whenever my number is called I will be ready to go."
Toronto FC earned Canada’s sole spot in 2018 Concacaf Champions League by defeating Montréal Impact in the 2017 Canadian Championship. It marked Toronto's sixth Canadian title and fifth qualification to Concacaf Champions League. Since the debut of both competitions in 2008, three Canadian winners have reached the Quarter-final stage or further in Concacaf Champions League: Toronto FC once (Semi-finals in 2011-12), Montréal twice (Quarter-finals in 2008-09 and Grand Final in 2014-15), and Vancouver Whitecaps FC once (Semi-finals in 2016-17).
From 16 finalists in 2018 Concacaf Champions League, only the Concacaf winner will advance to the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates from 12 to 22 December.