Toronto FC banked the home win they needed on Tuesday night, downing Mexican giants Club América 3-1 at a cold, rain-soaked BMO Field in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League semifinal clash via goals from Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Ashtone Morgan.
Giovinco got the hosts off to a strong start by earning, then dispatching a contentious penalty kick in the opening stages, only for Andrés Ibargüen to equalize with a sterling solo dribble not long after. Altidore netted in timely and typically muscular fashion on the stroke of halftime to send the Reds into the locker room ahead.
Then TFC found another gear in the second half, with long-serving defender Morgan surprising everyone by popping up at the back post to thump home a third goal that could prove critical for his team's hopes of protecting their aggregate lead in the thin, smoggy air of Mexico City in next week's second leg at Estadio Azteca.
- 9' - TOR - Sebastian Giovinco
- 21' - AME - Andrés Ibargüen
- 44' - TOR - Jozy Altidore
- 58' - TOR - Ashtone Morgan
- The Big Picture: Victory here was effectively mandatory for the Reds' CCL trophy hopes, and both the scoreline and the convincing manner of the win should encourage coach Greg Vanney & Co. as they shift to the daunting task in Mexico's high-altitude capital city.
- Moment of the Match: Not only did Morgan's point-blank finish provide a crucial multi-goal advantage, it served up rich symbolism given that he's TFC's first-ever Homegrown and one of their longest-serving players, one who vividly remembers the bad old days when Toronto were the laughingstock of MLS.
- Man of the Match: Marky Delgado assisted on TFC's second and third goals and was a midfield metronome, completing a high percentage of his passes and covering huge swathes of ground on both sides of the ball.
- Leg 2: Tuesday, Apr. 10 at Club América (10 pm ET | Univision Deportes, go90.com in US, TSN in Canada)