Toronto FC entered the Concacaf Champions League final as the favorite to beat Chivas de Guadalajara and become the first Major League Soccer team to win the title after nine years of Mexican dominance.
The scene shifts to Estadio Akron where Chivas, in CCL play, has yet to concede a goal. The odds are now stacked against TFC, but what about their chances in Mexico, where they've already gotten the necessary results against Tigres UANL and Club America?
Can Toronto FC come back to win CCL?
COUCH: Look, everything about this situation is simply reminding us a truism about sports: "There's a reason they play the games." It was true when everyone with Toronto in their hearts got their hopes high heading into Leg 1, and it remains true after those hopes were crushed by the action on the field.
Tournaments are hard. Finals are harder. This Toronto team has been taken bad losses before, and unlike, say MLS Cup 2016, they've got only a single-game slog to gain sweet, sweet revenge. Of any MLS club, I'd doubt this one in that situation the least. Long odds, perhaps, but ones I'd bet they overcome.
BOEHM: Yes, of course they can. A 2-0 win at Estadio Akron would be enough to overcome their painful Leg 1 loss, and this TFC side is eminently capable of such a result — not that they couldn't also win a high-scoring shootout, another route to a CCL final aggregate victory.
MLS' historical woes on Mexican soil have been well documented, but here's another stat to consider in the days ahead: Chivas are winless at home in league play during the current 2018 Clausura campaign (0-4-3) with just four goals scored and 10 against. And in the Apertura, they won just one of their nine home matches. The Reds can do this; they just have to believe.
STEJSKAL: Can they? Yes. Will they? Yes. Toronto are so much better than the score currently shows. They'll be more ready for Chivas from the jump in Leg 2, and Sebastian Giovinco will have a couple of magical moments in the final third to lead TFC to history.
TENORIO: Sure, of course they can. They scored multiple goals on the road against Tigres and netted a goal in the Azteca against Club America. I think Toronto will make the game competitive in Guadalajara, and they certainly have the attacking talent to dig out of the hole. Is it likely? Probably not. But it’s certainly possible.
WARSHAW: Yes. The first leg felt disastrous, but if Toronto had finished their chances, it would be a different situation. It's a tough task, but Toronto are a good team capable of winning in Guadalajara. The game should flow in the same way as the first leg, and Toronto will get two or three more opportunities than Chivas, so if Toronto scores those chances they will win the tie.