CCL: Toronto unable to find explanation for blowout loss

Toronto FC went from one extreme to another.

They shined so brightly in a big 4-2 win over the Columbus Crew this past Saturday in MLS action. But in CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday night, the Reds were duds, getting blown out 4-0 by Mexico’s Pumas UNAM in their Group C match.

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“It seems like we came out kind of flat – and it showed,” forward Peri Marosevic said. “It seems like none of us had it in us tonight. … We just have to do better.”

The match was over early by the time the halftime whistle sounded. Four goals in the space of 25 minutes in the first 45 had Toronto searching for answers to explain why they played the way they did in Mexico City. Was it jetlag? The altitude?

“I can’t say one thing,” Marosevic said, “Altitude or not, it’s another obstacle that we have to overcome. I don’t know. We can point fingers at a lot of things – travel, whatever it is – but at the end of the day, it comes down to us on the pitch and how we perform. It didn’t seem like we had it tonight.”

It was a forgettable effort by Toronto, and there’s nothing they can do now except learn from it and move on.

“Obviously, we have to forget about this game,” Marosevic said. “We have to learn from the mistakes that we made, the goals that we gave up. We have to look at it and learn from them really quickly.

“We still have a good chance of doing well in CONCACAF. We’ve got two home games and we’ve got an away game against Dallas. There’s still plenty of points for us to get, we just have to stay positive. We can’t let this loss affect us. We know we can do it. We’ve got a great group of guys, we just need to realize that.”

According to the young striker, the game in Columbus is a prime example of what TFC can do when they play their own style and take the game to the other team instead of sitting back and letting the opposition assert their style.

“We came out and got a great result against Columbus,” Marosevic said. “We played well together as a group and as a team, we were just a whole unit. It seems like we couldn’t turn it over here in Mexico. I want to say it’s a glitch and I hope we can turn it around quickly.”