Los Angeles (AFP) – Toronto FC overcame an early injury to Jozy Altidore on Tuesday to book their place in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League with a 4-2 aggregate win over Mexico’s Club America.
Leading 3-1 after the first leg in Canada, Toronto travelled to Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca aiming to become only the third Major League Soccer team to reach the final in the Champions League era.
No team from MLS has won the region’s premier club competition, with Toronto’s Canadian rivals Montreal Impact the last team to reach the final in 2015, where they lost to Club America.
Toronto were forced to endure a nervy start when US international striker Altidore was replaced after only five minutes following a heavy collision, to be replaced by Tosaint Ricketts.
However, the visitors’ nerves were settled in the 12th minute when Sebastian Giovinco picked out Ricketts in the box, who in turn found Jonathan Osorio to finish for 1-0.
Toronto survived a scare shortly afterwards however when defender Eriq Zavaleta appeared to head into his own net.
A late offside flag saw the own goal chalked off however and Toronto breathed again.
Alex Bono kept Toronto in the game for the remainder of the half, pulling off a string of saves to deny America.
Club America pulled a goal back in stoppage time when Michael Bradley fouled Oribe Peralta to concede a late penalty, but Toronto held on to claim their place in the final.
The Canadians will face Mexican side Chivas in the final. Chivas clinched a 1-0 aggregate win over the New York Red Bulls after holding on for a 0-0 draw in their away second leg.