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Justin Morrow plays a big role in eliminating Club León

Justin Morrow in the 2017 Audi MLS Championship Cup against the Seattle Sounders FC

Justin Morrow was one of two goal scorers along with Patrick Mullins for Toronto. Toronto FC was the better team and deserved to advance in the Concacaf Champions League. This is especially true in the second half when Toronto at one point was firing from all cylinders. Club León, the defending Liga MX champions got one goal back late in the second half but was unable to capitalize despite having a lot of possession.

Justin Morrow plays a big part in getting a big result against Club León

Three Keys to the Game

Toronto FC was efficient in front of goal

TFC had 10 shots with eight of them hitting the target. They really played well in both the first and second half. In fact, Toronto should have had a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half. Canadian Noble Okello was one of the best players for Toronto in the first half. His first two shots were stopped by León goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota in the 16-minute.

However, Okello’s goal was wrongly called offside by the referee and the game remained tied after the end of the first half. In the second half. Toronto really took control of the game. Their first shot on goal was stopped in the 50-minute. Then in the 55-minute, Mullins stepped up and scored his first goal of the tournament. A huge credit for that goal should be given to Canadian Jacob Shaffelburg, who was responsible for the critical assist. Then in the 71-minute, TFC would score their second goal of the game.

Ralph Priso played a big role in Justin Morrow’s goal. First, he intercepted the ball from a León player and made a great pass to Justin Morrow. Morrow had a collision with Liga MX goalkeeper Cota but was able to score what would be the game-winning goal.

Club León was not efficient in front of the goal

What was true for Toronto was not true for León. León generated seven more shots than Toronto but only had seven shots on goal. They also had 66.3 percent of the possession. However, they had one less shot on goal than Toronto, which had eight shots on goal. All of these statistics show that the defending Liga MX champions did not play efficiently throughout the game.

In the seventh minute, Ángel Mena had the first shot of the game (that was not blocked). His header from the centre of the box missed the target. He would also miss the target in the 20-minute. In the 11-minute, Jean Meneses shot from a difficult angle and was stopped by Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono. Santiago Colombatto would get another chance in the 21-minute, but his shot was saved.

They also had chances to score in the 36 and 45-minute of play. Both shots were taken by Víctor Dávila but were both stopped by Toronto goalkeeper Bono. León might be regretting not capitalizing on their chances in the first half as they had fewer chances in the second half. Yes, Emanuel Gigliotti and Colombatto both had chances to score in the 46 and 47-minute of play. However, León would not get another shot until the 80-minute.

In the 80-minute, Fernando Navarro Morán scored his second goal of the tournament. This, however, might have been too little, too late. They would only get one more shot on goal.

This was Emanuel Gigliotti’s shot, which was saved by Bono. It might be the save of the match as it helped Toronto advance to the Concacaf Champions League quarter-finals stage for the first time since 2018.

Toronto FC played well defensively

Toronto played very well defensively and did not allow León to get many scoring chances. In particular, Luis Montes’ shot was blocked in the sixth minute. That shot came from a dangerous area in the box and could have easily resulted in an early León goal. This was the first of five shots Toronto blocked. José Ramírez’ shot was blocked in the 10-minute. Then in the 38 and 40-minute of play, Mena and Meneses shots were blocked. The last blocked shot came from a Navarro shot in the 81-minute.

As a result, León had fewer shots on goal than Toronto. Yes, León not taking advantage of their opportunities played a big role in that. However, Toronto only had one of their shots blocked compared to León’s five shots blocked. This statistic shows how well Toronto played defensively.

Other Factors

The goal León gave up in the first leg might have cost them their tournament in the Concacaf Champions League.

It was an unfortunate goal to give up as Andrés Mosquera Guardia’s heavy touch of the ball resulted in an own goal. It also put Toronto in a much better position to advance to the quarter-finals in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League. To be fair, TFC player Erickson Gallardo forced that mistake to happen with his play that resulted in the own goal.

Bono was probably the player of the game against León. That save he made in the 90-minute is why Toronto is advancing to the Concacaf Champions League quarter-finals. There were also other players who stepped up including Justin Morrow, Michael Bradley, Auro Jr., Shaffelburg, Priso, Okello and Mullins.

Toronto FC gets a big result in Florida

Toronto gets a big win at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Bay Lake, Florida. With players like Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore injured, getting a result like this is big for the confidence of Toronto. This is especially true when they cannot play their home leg in Toronto like in previous editions of the Concacaf Champions League.

TFC will now play against another Liga MX side in Cruz Azul, which is based in Mexico. Nicknamed “The Machine” Cruz Azul has won 12 straight games and currently leads the Liga MX – Clausura table. They recently defeated Haiti-based side Arcahaie FC 8-0 in the second leg to advance to the Concacaf Champions League quarter-finals stage.

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