Toronto FC, looking to protect its 2-1 aggregate lead in a tricky Concacaf Champions League away match in Monterrey on Tuesday, held off Tigres UANL during a tense, scoreless first half. They then emerged from a wild second half —including four goals exchanged by both teams in just over 20 minutes — to lose the match 3-2 and win the series by a 4-4 aggregate score, thanks to a 2-1 away goal advantage, to advance to the CCL semifinal round.
Toronto opened the scoring in the 63rd minute on an own goal created when Sebastian Giovinco sought Jozy Altidore with a pass into the box, only for Tigres midfielder Rafael Carioca to poke the cross into his own net.
Six minutes later, Eduardo Vargas fired Tigres back into contention with a header goal. But four minutes after that, Giovinco was given a dangerous free-kick opportunity, and did what Giovinco does to give the Reds an insurmountable lead — though Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac tapped in an 84th minute goal to give the home team hope, and converted a stoppage-time penalty kick to close out the scoring.
- 63' – TOR – Rafael Carioca (OG)
- 69' – TIG – Eduardo Vargas
- 73' – TOR – Sebastian Giovinco
- 84' – TIG – Andre-Pierre Gignac
- 90' + 3' – TIG – Andre-Pierre Gignac (PK)
- THE BIG PICTURE: How about that away goal rule? Thanks to TFC scoring twice in Monterrey vs. Tigres scoring once at BMO Field, the 2017 MLS Cup winners outlasted the Liga MX Apertura 2017 victors to advance to the CCL semis. If this is what the upcoming Campeones Cup is going to look like, it's going to be lit.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Though the second half had its share of moments, the Giovinco free kick gave Toronto a two-goal (but really, as Tigres made sure we were all aware, a three-goal) advantage with precious little time left.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Not only did Giovinco score the decisive goal, it was his move to the box and dangerous pass in that opened the scoring — in a match where Tigres had at least four opportunities to net the opening goal and put the Reds on their heels.
- Toronto FC: Saturday, March 17 at Montreal Impact (3 pm ET | TSN, MLS LIVE)