Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Well, they’re through.
Toronto FC are through to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, after drawing 0-0 at BMO Field with the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday. Their 2-0 win last week in Commerce City was enough to win them the tie, with nobody managing to find the net in the return leg.
It wasn’t the most entertaining of games, with plenty of sloppy attacking moves and chippy fouls slowing things town, but TFC got what they came for. They’ll now be seeing Mexican champions Tigres next week.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this game was Ager Aketxe’s debut in a TFC kit. He came on in the 72nd minute to replace Marky Delgado, and although he didn’t have a huge impact on the game, he got a couple touches in and around the box, and had one shot from distance that sailed a little over the crossbar.
The Reds had their fair share of chances, with Sebastian Giovinco in particular coming tantalizingly close on a couple of occasions. Victor Vazquez was also much better than he was last week in Colorado, doing this like this at least three or four times:
Still, TFC couldn’t quite find a path all the way through. The Rapids challenged them quite a bit by playing an aggressive pressing style, which has been a problem for them in the past (especially against the New York Red Bulls).
The Reds might be a little lucky to escape this one without injury, frankly. Nick Hagglund, Victor Vazquez, Jozy Altidore, and Alex Bono, and Sebastian Giovinco all got on the receiving end of some nasty challenges. This rugby-style tackle on Seba, in particular, was dangerous.
Auro continued to impress in his second TFC appearance, pushing well upfield at times to join the attack.
And also doing this:
The Reds will host Tigres in the first leg of their tie next Wednesday, in a game we’ve all been looking forward to.