The visiting Reds dispatched the Rapids 2-0 to seize a commanding advantage in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 series on Tuesday night in bitterly cold conditions at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Dominique Badji spurned a one-on-one chance vs. TFC goalkeeper Alex Bono in the first half, and Toronto made their hosts pay with two strikes after the break, both finishes of endline service from the right flank. First Jonathan Osorio headed home a Sebastian Giovinco cross, and later it was Giovinco side-volleying a dipping delivery from new signing Auro.
The two sides will conclude the series at BMO Field in a week's time.
- The Big Picture: Knocking off the defending treble winners was always going to be a tall order for the rebuilt Rapids, but they got close enough here to wince at the memory of the missed opportunities. Now they have a mountain to climb in Ontario.
- Moment of the Match: An otherwise organized Colorado side let their focus slip for a few brief moments, and Giovinco and Osorio combined to exploit the opening, and it's 1-0. Several Rapids players, Tim Howard in particular, will not enjoy watching the tape on that back-breaking first goal.
- Man of the Match: Sebastian Giovinco. The Atomic Ant seemed pretty unperturbed by the Arctic temperatures, flashing several of the trademark skill checks that give MLS defenders nightmares, and played a central role in both goals on the night.
- Leg 2: Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids, BMO Field, Tuesday, Feb. 27 | 8 pm ET (univisiondeportes.com, Galavision (tape delayed) in US, TSN in Canada)