Toronto FC embrace underdog role to stun Tigres in CONCACAF

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 09: Toronto FC fans celebrate a goal by Jozy Altidore
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 09: Toronto FC fans celebrate a goal by Jozy Altidore /

Toronto FC proves us all wrong again, as took take a stunning 2-1 lead over Tigres in their CONCACAF Champions League series at BMO Field.

A win may not have been guaranteed in the opening weekend of the MLS against the Columbus Crew, but Toronto FC managed to rebound perfectly in the CONCACAF Champions League.

A goal finally came from Jozy Altidore, while Jonathan Osorio continued his amazing form with his second goal of the tournament.

It was the champions of the MLS against the champions of Liga MX. However, it didn’t seem that way in terms of atmosphere and chances until the 30th minute.

Sporadic ball-movement eventually saw Altidore send in Sebastian Giovinco, whose first-time low strike went straight at Nahuel Guzman and out. Giovinco looked to in an offside position anyway.

Michael Bradley met his match in the middle of the park in this fixture. Former Everton man Enner Valencia powered his way past the American skipper and found Lucas Zelarayan. The Argentine’s shot was looking for the top corner, but it whistled past the post.

The 51st minute gave Eduardo Vargas and Tigres the lead. Chris Mavinga got back in time, but he couldn’t seal the angle for Vargas to shoot at. The shot went perfectly past Alex Bono. It might have been tough for the Syracuse man to get a hand on it, as it was a bouncer.

TFC didn’t seem that affected by the opening goal from an opposing club expected to go advance in this tie. The Reds just came right back and did their thing in the other half of the pitch.

In what looked like a match of table football, a one-touch scheme featuring Giovinco and Marco Delgado led to Altidore squeezing the ball under the arm of Guzman to tie the fixture.

Bradley dangled around a Tigres midfielder and curled a ball for Altidore. Unfortunately, the ball hit the striker too quick and early for him to get complete control as Guzman scooped it up. However, it was a great piece of footwork from Bradley.

With the best goal you’ve seen in a while, Osorio back-heeled the ball into the net with stoppage time on the horizon to give Toronto the lead in the tie heading back to Mexico.

Tigres, likely stunned, did not have any response after that. The whistle blew, and the Reds have another early advantage in a two-leg tie.

Men of the Match

So far, it’s been revolving around the magic of both Osorio and Giovinco.

The Atomic Ant was all over the place in this match, which was the first-time supporters have really seen Gio-form from last season in this campaign. The Italian was rewarded with a set-up and an assist which happened to be to the game-winning goal.

What else can you say about the winner? It looks like something from Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga from 2012.

Osorio has been blistering in the middle of the park in virtually every game this season. The young man can turn heads for TFC and Canada is he keeps his form up.

Key Stats

Toronto FC

  • 13 shots
  • 47% possession
  • 1 corner
  • Key Player: Giovinco, again


  • 5 shots
  • 2 shots on target
  • 53% possession
  • 3 yellow cards
  • Key Player: Vargas

Champions League Updates

Last time there was an update, the Reds advanced past the Colorado Rapids, but there were still other ties to be determined. Let’s look at the new tournament tree below with updated scores.

  • Club America 4-0 Tauna (First Leg)
  • Tijuana 0-2 New York Red Bulls (First Leg)
  • Seattle Sounders 1-0 Guadlajara (First Leg)

What’s Next for the Reds?

More from Tip of the Tower

The best news for Toronto FC aside from the win is the scheduling. There’s no MLS fixture to be played, which gives the Reds a good portion of time to focus on the next leg.

On the other hand, Tigres will play Tijuana in Liga MX just three days before the clash with the Reds. In further context, TFC have all the cards in their hands to close out this tie.

The only worry is that it is away from home, but again, the other factors should help even out the battle.

The second leg happens on Mar. 13 which is a Tuesday at 11 P.M. Eastern Time. Get all your TFC coverage right here on Tip of the Tower. Honestly, why would you want to get it anywhere else?

Next: Crew take Reds back to reality on opening day

Were you stunned by the result of the match considering how the team played in the opener? Let us know in the comments below.