Toronto FC's 2021 Concacaf Champions League campaign has come to a close following the second leg of their Quarterfinals series against Liga MX side Cruz Azul, which saw the Reds fall 1-0 at Estadio Azteca.
The result gave Cruz Azul a 4-1 victory on aggregate in the two-leg series, which saw the current Liga MX leaders jump out to a 3-1 lead in Leg 1. After striking for a brace in that first leg, forward Brayan Angulo scored the dagger for the hosts in the 27th minute of Leg 2, cashing home a highlight-reel finish from deep outside the area that accounted for all the scoring in the match.
Toronto had a couple of good looks in the first half that could have made things interesting, starting in the 18th minute, when Nick DeLeon ran onto a through ball and found himself with a wide-open opportunity against Cruz Azul goalkeeper José de Jesús Corona. DeLeon converted the shot, only to see the goal disallowed for offside.
Ayo Akinola had another good look for TFC in the 25th minute, but the 20-year-old forward couldn't quite beat Corona with a near-post finish after a nice set-up from DeLeon. Omar Gonzalez then saw a headed attempt off the ensuing corner kick go off the crossbar.
Cruz Azul found the first and only goal of the match in the 27th minute through a spectacular finish from Angulo, who scored his third goal of the series with an incredible strike that was set up by a long Corona goal kick. Angulo pounced on a ball that was headed backward by a TFC defender and teed up a first-time shot from 40 yards out, catching Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono off his line and lofting home a distance golazo.
The Liga MX side put it in cruise control from there, riding out the three-goal advantage and punching their ticket to the CCL Semifinals.
- 27' - CZA - Brayan Angulo | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Toronto were up against it going into Leg 2 in a 3-1 hole without Alejandro Pozuelo (thigh) and Jozy Altidore (illness), and in the end they couldn't muster enough to mount a comeback against a loaded and in-form Cruz Azul side that is arguably the favorite in the tournament going forward. The focus turns back to the league season for Toronto and first-year head coach Chris Armas, where they can look forward to the arrival of reinforcements soon in the form of new signings Yeferson Soteldo and Kemar Lawrence.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This first-half strike from Angulo was a sight to behold, and really put to bed any chance Toronto had of climbing back into the series.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Angulo was the man of this match and the series for Cruz Azul, scoring three of his team's four goals.
- TOR: Saturday, May 8 at New York Red Bulls | 1 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)