CCL: Toronto Travels To Torreon

Reds must win big in Mexico to finish atop Champions League Group A.

When Toronto FC visits Torreon, Mexico to face Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League (Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Sportsnet World*), Reds may find the home team in a foul mood.

On Sunday, Santos suffered a 4-1 defeat away to 10-man Toluca. The Red Devils had Edgar Benitez sent off at the 31st minute while leading 2-0, but managed to go three up before Santos responded through Oribe Peralta.

Santos sits sixth in Mexico’s Apertura tournament with 20 points from 14 games. They are on a three game winless streak in the league, a slide that could cost the 2012 Mexican Clausura champion a spot in the eight-team Apertura playoffs.

Darwin Quintero leads the club with six goals but was rarely involved Sunday with Toluca controlling the tempo. Quintero scored a cracking opening goal when Toronto hosted Santos on August 28, a match that got away from the Reds when the club conceded twice in the dying moments, allowing the visitors to leave BMO Field with a 3-1 win.

That sizable defeat means Toronto must win 4-2 or 3-0 (or a greater margin) at Estadio Corona to advance from the group stage to the quarterfinals. A format change prior to this edition of CCL allows only the group winner to advance to the championship round.

Santos’ form on Sunday wasn’t helped by the absence of defensive giant Felipe Baloy. The Panamanian centre back was rested by manager Benjamin Galindo after returning from international duty. With Toluca pressing and scoring from the start, Baloy was left on the substitutes’ bench.

For Toronto, injuries continued to pile up through Saturday’s nil-nil draw against Montreal. Defender Logan Emory will likely be missing on Wednesday, joining a large, painful list that included goalkeeper Stefan Frei, centre backs Darren O’Dea and Ty Harden, midfielders Torsten Frings and Matt Stinson, Forwards Danny Koevermans, Quincy Amarikwa and Keith Makubuya.

*A previous version of this article had the match listed to be shown on Sportsnet One. The broadcast information was updated after the match was moved to Sportsnet World.