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2018 CONCACAF Champions League, Quarterfinals
  • Jozy Altidore (60')
  • Jonathan Osorio (89')
  • Eduardo Vargas (52')
1st Leg
1st Leg

Jozy Altidore goal helps Toronto FC rally to beat Tigres in CCL first leg

Jonathan Osorio celebrates after scoring the winner for Toronto FC against Tigres in the CCL. USA Today Images

Toronto FC rallied from a goal down to beat Tigres 2-1 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first-leg tie at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

Goals from Jonathan Osorio and Jozy Altidore cancelled out an Eduardo Vargas strike as Toronto became the second team in as many days to beat a Liga MX club after the New York Red Bulls beat Tijuana 2-0 on Tuesday night. The Seattle Sounders made it three out of three by defeating Chivas later on Wednesday.

Sebastian Giovinco had a great chance to open the scoring just past the half-hour mark after Altidore played him into the area, but Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman did well to get a leg on the Toronto striker's first-time shot.

The reigning Liga MX champions saw their best chance of the first half go astray as Lucas Zelarayan's line drive from outside the penalty area went just wide of Alex Bono's goal.

Ricardo Ferretti brought on his star striker Andre-Pierre Gignac after the break with Tigres seeking an away goal and it came soon after when Eduardo Vargas pounced on a header in behind the Toronto defense and smashed a first-time volley past Bono to make it 1-0.

Toronto should have been back on level footing minutes later, but Osorio somehow managed to sky a Jozy Altidore cutback pass over the bar from close range after the U.S. international had picked his way through the Tigres back line.

Altidore then popped back up on the hour mark to make it 1-1 with a smooth turn and first-time shot from a Marco Delgado assist to beat Guzman and send the home crowd into a frenzy.

And just before full-time, Osorio made up for his earlier miss with a cheeky backheel flick of a Giovinco cross that beat Guzman and gave Toronto the win.

It was just the second home win for Toronto against a Mexican side in the CCL since a victory against Cruz Azul in 2010.

Coach Greg Vanney hailed the impact of Altidore's "very big" equalizer, after Toronto had failed to score in their past two games, a draw with the Colorado Rapids in the previous round and a loss to Columbus in the MLS season opener.

"Playing teams like Tigres you can't let too many slip away," Vanney said. "So to get that one, break the seal on the goal -- it's been a couple games since we got one -- motivated the team to keep pushing forward and play for the second one. We were able to get that one [too], which was an important one as we go to Mexico."

The two teams meet again on Tuesday for the decisive second leg at the Estadio Universitario in Nuevo Leon.

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