Club América vs. Toronto FC
2018 Concacaf Champions League – Semifinals, Leg 2
Estadio Azteca - Mexico City
10 pm ET – April 10, 2018
WATCH: UDN, univisiondeportes.com, go90.com, TSN1/4 (in Canada)
After taking a contentious first leg of the Concacaf Champions League semifinals, 3-1, Toronto FC faces the ultimate test Tuesday night – taking on Club América at the cathedral of Mexican soccer, Estadio Azteca.
The first leg had a bit of everything – a debated penalty decision converted by Sebastian Giovinco, a sensational equalizer by Andres Ibarguen, another massive goal by Jozy Altidore and a somewhat surprising insurance tally by Ashtone Morgan.
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Though his post-match claims of Toronto police assaulting his players and berating the match officials made headlines across the region, Miguel Herrera also has confidence his squad can bounce back at Azteca after losing the first leg by two goals.
“We had chances, the field was a little bit difficult, but it was for both teams,” Herrera said. “At home, we have to score the chances we have and take advantage of the opportunities."
Herrera had eight of the same players in his starting XI from the first leg in his lineup Saturday night for a 1-1 draw against Necaxa. Cecilio Dominguez scored the lone goal from the penalty spot for America on the hour mark, but he immediately grabbed for his hamstring and was subbed off and is in doubt for Tuesday’s second leg.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: Emanuel Aguiliera, Carlos Vargas, Cecilio Dominguez, Paul Aguilar, Alejandro Diaz, Andres Uribe, Guido Rodriguez
- Injury Report: OUT: Jeremy Menez (leg), Oscar Jimenez (lower back); QUESTIONABLE: F - Cecilio Dominguez (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left)
GK: Agustin Marchesin — Paul Aguilar, Bruno Valdez, Emanuel Aguilera, Carlos Vargas — Andres Ibarguen, Mateus Uribe, Guido Rodriguez, Ibarra— Oribe Perlata, Henry Martin
Without a league game on the weekend, Toronto FC is insuring they are fully prepared for what awaits them Tuesday night at Azteca. The team arrived in Mexico Thursday, a full five days before the match to fully acclimate to the altitude and heat.
Toronto FC, which also spent a portion of their preseason in Mexico City, trained at Pachuca, which is higher altitude than the Mexican capital. Despite his team’s two-goal edge, Toronto FC captain Michael Bradley, who has ample experience playing at Azteca with the U.S. national team, said the onus is on continuing to attack and not on bunkering down defensively.
“We’re coming here to play, to be aggressive, we want to score and we want to go after the game and finish things off,” he said at a press conference. “[América] is a good team, a team that if you sit back and let them have the ball and dictate how things go then it can be a long 90 minutes.”
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Nick Hagglund (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: D - Justin Morrow (calf strain); PROBABLE: D - Chris Mavinga (abdominal discomfort), M - Victor Vazquez (back spasms)
Projected Starting XI
(3-5-2, right to left)
GK: Alex Bono — Gregory van der Wiel, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga — Auro, Marky Delgado, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan — Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco
- Toronto FC defeated Club América, 3-1, in the opening leg April 3 at BMO Field in the first-ever appearance between the teams.
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referees: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB) and Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
4th Official: Ricardo Montero (CRC)