TFC earns 1st Champions League berth
Toronto FC has made history.
Two second-half goals lifted the soccer club to a 2-2 tie with Club Deportivo Motagua on Tuesday night in Honduras, earning Toronto its first-ever berth in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Captain Dwayne De Rosario scored in the 59th minute and Chad Barrett added the second goal in the 79th, silencing the crowd in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.
After beating Motagua 1-0 at home last week in the first of the home-and-home series, Toronto wins the aggregate series by a cumulative score of 3-2.
The series win means Toronto is one of 16 teams competing in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, which features the best clubs from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
TFC will be in a first-round group with reigning Major League Soccer champions Real Salt Lake, Panama's Arabe Unido and Mexico's Cruz Azul.
Toronto FC's charter flight was scheduled to land in the Honduran capital on Monday, but instead flew to San Pedro Sula, which was deemed safer for landing.
It was also a five-hour, winding bus ride away from the capital city, which played host to their game Tuesday.
The road trip didn't start off well, either.
The luggage got lost when the team stopped in Kansas City to play the Wizards.
TFC went on to lose 1-0 to Kansas City on Saturday.
The top two teams in each of the four round-robin groups advance to the quarter-finals, with the eventual winner of the CONCACAF Champions League advancing to the 2011 FIFA World Club Cup, played by champions from all six continental soccer confederations.
Former TFC midfielder Amato Guevara was nearly the spoiler for his old club Tuesday night.
The Motagua forward scored two goals and was a constant threat, getting his team going with a diving header to make it 1-0 in the sixth minute and adding his second in the 64th for a 2-1 lead.
Motagua had most of the scoring chances in the match, firing nine shots on Toronto keeper Stefan Frei compared to only two from TFC. The Honduran side had three shots and a 1-0 lead after the opening half and was carrying the momentum headed into the second.
But Toronto made good on its only two shots of the game. Maicon fed De Rosario a perfect through ball, and the captain fired it in the bottom right corner to tie the game at 1-1.
Later in the half, after Guevara drilled his second of the game into the top left corner, Barrett had the equalizer for Toronto, a deflected shot that got by goalkeeper Donaldo Morales.
Barrett also had the lone goal in Toronto's home victory against Motagua last week.
Tuesday's match was Toronto's fourth in 11 days. The squad returns to MLS action Saturday, when it hosts Chivas USA.