Toronto Looks For Second Chance

Santos Laguna drops by BMO Field Tuesday for a Group 1 match-up of Champions League leaders.

Ah, Gringo-Gate.

Has it only been four months since Santos Laguna ended TFC’s 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League run with a 6-2 triumph in Torreon, Mexico in the semifinals?

Who can forget the two penalty kicks that blew open a tight game in Mexico? For that matter, who would want to forget the passionate end to the first game of the series, a 1-1 tie here in which Mexican coach Benjamin Galindo spoke of the Gringos and their sympathetic referee while claiming the game was tilted from the beginning?

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC and of course the Montreal Impact all offer the attraction of a national rivalry. TFC and Columbus have a nice thing going.

But the green and white have forged a special relationship with the local squad too. In the first leg of the previous series Santos player Carlos Darwin Quintero head-butted TFC’s Ashtone Morgan and then simulated injury by grabbing his own leg prompting a melee at the end of the game, and the bizarre sight of Santos players clashing with security guards.

No real punches were thrown but feelings were hurt. Now, with any luck, they will be again.

“We have another chance against them after the Champions League run,” Morgan said.

“I know quite a bit about them” said centre-back Darren O’Dea. “They’re a very talented team. We’ll be right up against them but confidence-wise we feel we can get something done at home.”

The two teams will have to wait until October 24 for the rematch in Mexico.