Toronto is not dead in CONCACAF Champions League play.
But … the Reds do have one foot in the grave and the other on a slippery piece of ground.
Things were OK – not great, but just OK – until the final, fateful minutes last night at BMO Field against Santos Laguna. Two late goals from the Torreon-based club will probably spell the end for Toronto; quite a few “ends,” in fact.
Santos’ 3-1 win Tuesday leaves the Mexican side alone at the top of a three-team group. Toronto has played both of its home matches and, as we’ve written before, the new format simply does not allow for any slips. A loss at home qualifies as a “slip.”
Paul Mariner’s side would almost certainly need to win both of its coming road matches, Sept. 25 against El Salvador’s Aguila and then (the ginormous task) against Santos in Mexico on Oct. 24. Only then would a spot in the quarterfinal be possible.
The late goals last night came just minutes after – not making this up, promise – a black cat sprinted across the field and ran right behind Toronto goalkeeper Freddy Hall.
Watch for yourself: