TFC advance to Champions League semifinals despite loss to Tigres
Toronto fall 3-2 in CONCACAF 2nd leg but advance on away goals
Sebastian Giovinco scored as Toronto FC lost to Mexico's Tigres UANL 3-2 in a wild game on Tuesday but advanced to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on aggregate goals.
Toronto won the opener of the two-leg series 2-1 at BMO Field last Wednesday.
Giovinco's goal and an own goal by Tigres defender Rafael Carioca gave TFC two crucial away goals in the series, allowing the Reds to move on in the tournament.
Mexico has traditionally been a graveyard for Major League Soccer teams. The New York Red Bulls' 2-0 win at Club Tijuana last week was just the third victory in 49 competitive matches (3-38-8) on Mexican soil for MLS clubs.
The other two wins — FC Dallas over Pumas and Seattle over Monterrey, both by 1-0 margins — came in 2011 Champions League group play.
Tigres threaten lead
Andre-Pierre Gignac scored twice for Tigres UANL, with Eduardo Vargas putting away a header for the hosts.
Tigres threatened in the 24th minute, with Jesus Duenas taking a cross from Gignac in the penalty area and getting a volley on target. But defender David Mavinga blocked the shot and a rush of his Toronto FC teammates collapsed back to clear out the rebound.
Carioca scored on his own net in the 64th minute, giving Toronto FC a crucial away goal. Giovinco set up the play by sending a dribbling pass toward a charging Jozy Altidore. The ball never reached Altidore, however, getting clipped by one Tigres defender and then Carioca misplaying it into his own wide open net.
Vargas tied it up in the 69th minute, heading the ball past Toronto 'keeper Alex Bono on a corner kick.
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Giovinco answered for Toronto FC four minutes later, picking the top-left corner on a free kick from just outside the penaltry area, curling it over a defensive wall and past Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman.
Gignac scored to tie the game 2-2 in the 84th minute. Another bouncing cross eluded Toronto FC's defenders and a sliding Gignac knocked it past Bono.
A handball by Altidore gave Gignac a penalty kick that he rifled past an outstretched Bono in stoppage time for his second goal of the night and a 3-2 lead.