Result of the Wednesday March 28th, 2012 MLS game between Toronto FC and Club Santos Laguna played at BMO Field in Toronto at 8:00pm. This was the first leg of the CONCACAF Championship Semi-Final

Toronto FC (all red, white names and numbers, black shoulders and sleeves)

........................30 Milos Kocic
27 Richard Eckersley...20 Ty Harden...3 Miguel Aceval...5 Ashtone Morgan
.........23 Terry Dunfield...6 Julian de Guzman (cpt)...19 Reggie Lambe
.........18 Nick Soolsma...14 Danny Koevermans...9 Ryan Johnson

Subs:...41 Brian Rowe (gk)...7 Joao Plata (fwd)...11 Luis Silva (mid)...12 Adrian Cann (def)...21 Aaron Maund (def) ...33 Junior Borgos (mid)
team officials:...head coach Aron Winter

Club Santos Laguna (green socks and shorts, green & white hooped shirts, gold numbers and names)

.........................1 Oswaldo Sanchez (cpt)
20 Osmar Mares...4 Jorge Estrado...18 Santiago Hoyos...5 Aaron Galindo
.........17 Rodolfo Salinas...6 Marc Crosas...13 Christian Suarez
.........16 Herculez Gomez...3 Darwin Quintero...9 Carlos Ochoa

Subs:...25 Miguel Becerra (gk)...14 Cesar Ibanez (def)...15 Jaime Toledo (mid)...23 Felipe Baloy (def)...24 Oribe Peralta (fwd)
...28 Carlos Morales (mid)...37 Candido Ramirez (mid)
team officials:...head coach Benjamin Galindo

Game officials:...referee Ricardo Salizar...referee's assistants Kermit Quisenberry and Adam Wienchkowski...fourth official Terry Vaughn... (all black uniforms)...this was an all-Amirican crew.

1st Half:...game starts 8:08pm...TFC defend north end on this cold night with a misty rain falling and a gusty wind from the north.
1 min...TFC Lambe cornerkick from left is headed away by defender to left of goal.
2 min...TFC Eckersley on run chips 28 yard pass from right that bounces wide left of net a step ahead of TFC Koevermans at 8 yards.
4 min...TFC de Guzman 50 yard cross from left has TFC Koevermans pop up 18 yard header down middle that is caught by goalie.
5 min...SL Crosas chips pass from 25 yards and SL Ochoa is called offside at 7 yards.
7 min...TFC Lambe tripped up by SL Hoyos while dribbling near edge of SL box and wins freekick.
8 min...TFC Koevermans 22 yard low freekick from left is around defender wall and smothered by goalie on right.
9 min...TFC Johnson at 15 yards on right sends low centering pass but defender intercepts ball meant for TFC Koevermans.
11 min...SL Gomez passes in from 28 yards on right wing that TFC Aceval blocks at 12 yards on right but ball deflects through his legs and SL Quintero gets behind him and blasts low 6 yard shot from right that goalie slides out to block. Rebound flies out to 30 yards and SL player passes it back up right and SL Gomez injured on edge of TFC box by TFC Aceval clip to ankle. TFC Aceval clears and play carries on downfield.
14 min...SL Suarez low 30 yard pass from left past SL Quintero just outside box and ball rolls wide right.
16 min...SL Estrada has shot on right edge of box blocked by TFC Lambe who then rushes out on fast break.
18 min...SL Quintero on right sends in 35 yard bouncer that SL Gomez gets touch to in front of TFC Harden in center at 12 yards and flying goalie pushes ball over to left where TFC Eckersley clears.
19 min...SL Suarez low 25 yard shot is tipped wide right off TFC Harden at 22 yards for cornerkick.
20 min...SL Quintero cornerkick from right has ball bounce through to SL Suarez in middle who blasts show well high of net from 15 yards.
21 min...TFC de Guzman heads ball back to goalie sent in from 70 yards from left ahead of streaking SL player rushing into TFC box.
24 min...TFC Soolsma long run on right wins cornerkick on cross from cornerflag off deflection by SL Hoyas.
24 min...TFC Soolsma cornerkick from right has goalie punch ball away from 5 yards in crowd of players.
26 min...TFC Lambe cornerkick from left is popped up on header at 6 yards and ball cleared on second header by defender.
27 min...TFC de Guzman 30 yard blast up middle is stopped when it hits players in box at 12 yards. Ball headed back to goalie.
29 min...SL Herculez Gomez GOAL...SL Darwin Quintero cross from 35 yards after run down right wing finds Gomez behind four TFC defenders at 22 yards and he rolls 15 yard shot from right to low left side of net beyond sliding TFC goalie Milos Kocic at 6 yards.
31 min...SL goalie catches bouncer at 10 yards ahead of charging TFC Lambe.
33 min...TFC Morgan from 30 yards on left sends low cross into box and TFC Soolsma misses shot from 8 yards on left and ball rolls through box.
33 min...TFC Eckersley long throw-in from 30 yards on right has TFC Koevermans turn behind SL Hoyas at 10 yards as it bounces over his head and Koevermans flicks ball up at 6 yards and Hoyas bumps with him to put off his header and SL Estrada gets foot up to save at 2 yards.
35 min...TFC Koevermans 30 yard freekick up middle is low and goalie saves on right side.
35 min...TFC YELLOW card...Koevermans earns it for taking the freekick before the referee blew his whistle to start the last play.
36 min...TFC Miguel Aceval GOAL...Aceval blasts low 30 yard freekick up the middle that bounces into the low left of net just over diving goalie Oswaldo Sanchez.
38 min...TFC Dunfield 55 yard freekick from left is cleared just inside box by defender in crwod of players.
40 min...TFC Aceval low freekick from 25 yards on right is blocked by SL defender. TFC Eckersley chip from 35 yards down middle is caught by goalie.
41 min...TFC Lambe cornerkick from left is headed behind right end line by defender popping up header.
41 min...TFC Soolsma cornerkick from right has ball knocked around first with header and goalie smothers wide right of net near endline.
42 min...TFC Lambe low 35 yard shot up left is wide left.
43 min...TFC Soolsma cross from 25 yards on right has TFC Koevermans miss connecting on header at 8 yards in middle.
46 min...half ends 8:54pm.

2nd Half:...starts 9:11pm...the weather is about the same. Now TFC has to run into the wind and rain.
halftime sub:...SL Ibanez replaces Estrado.
45 min...TFC Johnson long run up left side and high cross from left is over players charging into box. TFC Soolsma recovers 15 yards wide right of net and rolls centering ball but defender stops and clearance deflects high off Dunfield over right line for TFC throw-in.
46 min...TFC Soolsma cross from 25 yards on right near cornerflag has TFC Koevermans duck and head ball with back to net from 8 yards that bounces off arm of defender down near chest. Defenders clear chip of partial clearance as Koevermans can't win Penalty kick appeal.
48 min...TFC sub...Maund replaces Aceval.
50 min...TFC Soolsma cornerkick from right has nearest defender head ball away. His rebound cross from 30 yards on right is also headed away by defender in box. TFC Soolsma runs back to right side of just outside box and is bumped over and loses possession.
51 min...TFC Maund pushes SL Suarez off ball on left side of TFC box at 12 yards after getting foot in to trip him up. No Penalty kick is awarded.
52 min...TFC Dunfield cross from right has defender clear in front of TFC Koevermans waiting for midair kick.
53 min...SL Quintero shot up middle from 20 yards is low and wide left of net.
54 min...SL Gomez 10 yard redirect of long cross from left sideline is wide right of goal.
57 min...TFC Dunfield 22 yard freekick on right edge of box has defender head ball wide left of net before TFC Lambe can head ball at 6 yards on left.
57 min...TFC Lambe cornerkick on left is cleared by goalie punching ball away in crowd of players at 5 yards on right post.
59 min...SL Saurez bicycle kick from 12 yards up middle is caught by goalie when SL Quintero chipped him short pass from 20 yards.
60 min...TFC goalie picks up through ball near left edge of box to beat SL Saurez.
60 min...TFC Soolsma blasts low 25 yarder from right that deflects off defender for cornerkick.
61 min...SL sub...Peralta replaces Ochoa.
61 min...TFC Soolsma cornerkick from right is low and cleared by nearest defender on right.
61 min...TFC Morgan 50 yard shot from right sideline is well wide right.
62 min...SL Suarez blasts 20 yard shot from left that flying TFC goalie punches away.
62 min...TFC de Guzman works give and go with TFC Soolsma on right sideline and de Guzman from right edge of box sends low cross that TFC Johnson gets foot to at 6 yards on right to deflect ball and diving goalie on right post gets hand on to push ball across box and wide left of net.
62 min...TFC Lambe cornerkick from left is through box and defender bicycle kicks clearance.
64 min...SL Crosas chips pass from 60 yards up middle that finds charging SL Gomez up middle past TFC Harden and his shot from 12 yards has goalie make flying catch at 6 yards then SL Gomez has his kneed catch goalie's foot and he's injured as play continues upfield.
66 min...TFC Soolsma cuts shot low from 15 yards just wide right into outside mesh of net.
68 min...SL sub...Ramirez replaces injured Gomez.
68 min...TFC Dunfield 30 yard cross from left is well wide right of goal.
70 min...TFC Dunfield cornerkick from right is over players in box and TFC de Guzman win freekick left of box when knocked over by SL Peralta.
71 min...TFC sub...Plata replaces Soolsma.
71 min...TFC Johnson taps over freekick from 25 yards on left back to charging TFC Plata who's still running into play after substitution and his 20 yard shot deflects high off defender on edge of box and drops at 6 yards for TFC Dunfield to tap ball wide left from 5 yards.
72 min...SL Ramirez cross from 25 yards on left has defender leap to head away in crowd of players at 8 yards.
72 min...TFC Koevermans blasts 18 yarder down middle well over net when he receives low cross from TFC Johnson from 20 yards on far right.
74 min...SL player's 45 yard freekick from left is worked in but passed back and another players 45 yard shot from left bounces to goalie wide right of net.
75 min...SL YELLOW card...Crosas earns it for trip on TFC Johnson at TFC 45 yards.
76 min...SL RED card...Osmar Mares earns it for sliding tackle as both he and TFC Eckersley slid for ball at 30 yards although Mares raised his foot into chest of Eckersley as ball got away from him. Mares is injured and needs trainers. Eckersley needs treatment for slash on leg.
79 min...play finally resumes.
82 min...TFC Dunfield 45 yard cross from left has TFC Koevermans tip header to SL goalie on 22 yarder up middle.
87 min...TFC Lambe cornerkick from right is low and cleared by nearest defender.
87 min...SL goalie gathers ball on right that TFC de Guzman had headed forward after receiving long throw-in from right.
89 min...TFC Maund cross from right has TFC Johnson pop up header at 8 yards and TFC Plata not connect properly on one-timer from 12 yards on left and defender clears ball.
90 min...TFC Eckersley long chip down middle from 45 yards has TFC Koevermans on left side of box head cross across box and defender clears.
92 min...TFC Plata rush on left and deflected shot from 15 yards is smothered by goalie on left post.
94 min...TFC de Guzman 45 yard roller up middle is smothered by goalie.
94 min...SL Quintero has shot up middle from 15 yards blocked.
95 min...SL RED card...Darwin Quintero earns it for head butt on TFC Ashtone Morgan in TFC box as play moved further upfield.
95 min...game ends 10:00pm.
Players from both benches empty out onto the field to enter a pushing match and stadium security tries to separate them.

Final Score:.....Toronto FC......1..........Club Santos Laguna...........1........

Attendance was announced as 18950 on this cold and rainy night although it did stop at the 80 minute mark. I'm glad I wore my parka but something on my hands would have been nice. TFC season ticket holders in my section must have let their chance go by as the first four rows in front of me were sold to Santos Laguna fans who stood the whole game. I also had to stand to see which I've done at plenty of CSL games but this was unexpected. The cameras panned them when the visitors scored. I can see this happening when Canada continues their quest to qualify for the World Cup as the three qualifying home games in the next phase will all be held in Toronto. Maybe the end zone will be sold out to TFC fan groups but the center field seats could be filled with visitors just like the last decades.

The weather was worse on the Santos Laguna players. Many of them wore gloves. The TFC hard tackling put them off their game. The officiating crew were from the USA and called it like a regular rough/physical MLS game with plenty of bumping that wasn't called.

Danny Koevermans earned the first card of the game for taking a freekick before the referee blew his whistle. I didn't realize that he was on a Yellow card and will now miss the return match next Wednesday in Mexico.

Toronto FC gets a 'result' which was a must but it was only a tie. They now need either a high scoring tie to win on the away goal rule or must straight-out win. They've been in this situation in this competition before with away wins in Dallas and Los Angeles although this was against fellow MLS competition. Santos Laguna's opponents in the last round, Seattle Sounders (MLS), held a 2-1 first leg advantage and the Mexican team won 6-1 at home to win comfortably by aggregate.

Toronto FC had many chances to win this game especially in the second half and with the visitors shorthanded for the last 15 minutes of playing time. Their defence held up well and had a minimum of shredding off their defence unlike the Earthquakes game last Saturday. It was Santos Laguna who punted the field upfield more often than TFC this game.

This may be the best year for Toronto FC to get through to the CONCACAF competition as they no longer have an almost automatic pass to be Canadian champions as they face Montreal Impact this year for their first time as an MLS team and what looks like a vastly improved Vancouver Whitecaps team based on early season MLS results.

The game program was a ripoff even at only $3.00 as it was almost identical to the one they sold against Los Angeles at the beginning of the month.

Rocket Robin

stats from torontofc.ca, and MLSsoccer.com 

Scoring Summary
31' Santos Laguna - Herculez Gomez
37' Toronto - Miguel Aceval
Misconduct Summary
36' Toronto - Danny Koevermans (caution)
76' Santos Laguna - Marc Crosas (caution)
77' Santos Laguna - Osmar Mares (ejection)
90+6' Santos Laguna - Carlos Darwin Quintero (ejection)
Lineups Toronto - Milos Kocic; Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden, Miguel Aceval (Aaron Maund 49'), Ashtone Morgan; Reggie Lambe, Julian de Guzman, Terry Dunfield; Nick Soolsma (Joao Plata 72'), Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson ... Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe; Adrian Cann, Luis Silva, Burgos Jr.
Santos Laguna - Oswaldo Sanchez; Osmar Mares, Aaron Galindo, Santiago Hoyos, Jorge Estrada (Cesar Ibanez 45'); Rodolfo Salinas, Christian Suarez, Marc Crosas; Carlos Ochoa (Oribe Peralta 62'), Herculez Gomez (Candido Ramirez 69'), Carlos Quintero ... Substitutes not used: Miguel Becerra; Felipe Baloy, Jaime Toledo, Carlos Morales Match Stats Toronto FC Santos Laguna 14 Attempts on Goal 10 5 Shots on Target 6 4 Shots off Target 2 5 Blocked Shots 2 12 Corner Kicks 1 7 Fouls 11 26 Open Play Crosses 7 0 Offsides 1 1 Yellow Cards 1 0 Red Cards 2 33 Duels Won 27 55% Duels Won % 45% 329 Total Pass 413 67% Passing Accuracy % 75% 46.6% Possession 53.4%

TFC starters

Santos Laguna starters

SL Carlos Ochoa (9) and Darwin Quintero (3) take the opening kickoff.

TFC Danny Koevermans (14) lines up this freekick at 8 minutes.

SL Jorge Estrado (4) slides in on TFC Ashtone Morgan (5).

TFC Danny Koevermans (14) gets ready to start the second half.

SL Christian Suarez (13) is shadowed by defenders.

The post game melee had mostly been broken up by the time I took this picture.

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