Chivas neige

A final in the snow

TFC falls at home against Chivas Guadalajara

Snow flurries, 0 degrees, icy pitch. The first leg of the Concacaf Champions League final took place in this extremely Canadian context, Tuesday night at BMO Field, in Toronto. Despite unfavourable conditions for the Mexican visitors, who have probably never touched a ball in this type of weather, they’re the ones who left the Great White North with a slight advantage after 90 minutes of play, which ended up pleasing a good number of Montreal supporters, according to a house poll.

From an objective point of view, TFC came close to taking the lead on numerous occasions after Jonathan Osorio tied the game. However, the Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco tandem in attack was not able to finish its opportunities; on the other end, Alan Pulido scored a stunning free-kick, beating Alex Bono and allowing his team to return to Guadalajara with an advantage.

“Toronto still dominated,” admitted Louis Béland-Goyette. “I thought Chivas was a little disappointing, even if their second goal was exceptional. It’s disappointing for TFC who was playing well. It will be an interesting game in Mexico.”

The feeling was mutual for Toronto-born Michael Petrasso, who is teammates with the Reds’ lone scorer on the national team.

“At 1-1, I thought they would win,” said Petrasso. “Momentum was on their side and they were putting the pressure on Chivas, but the free-kick goal must’ve felt like a cold shower for Toronto. I think they were the better team and we’ll see if they’re able to bounce back in the second leg.”

Evan Bush, who’s already experienced a final in the continental tournament, had a different analysis concerning Toronto’s performance.

“In these types of games, it’s all about moments,” said Montreal’s goalkeeper. “Chivas stood out when they had to, and Toronto didn’t, whether it’s regarding finishing their chances or in defense. I’m sure they’re kicking themselves today. I think they’ll get scoring opportunities in Mexico, but Chivas has shown throughout the tournament that they’re very good defensively.”