Ryan Johnson and Julian de Guzman each scored a goal in the first half and the Toronto FC defence held on just long enough to finish the job, as the Reds posted a 2-1 win over Tauro FC in the CONCACAF Champions League Group C opener for both teams on Thursday night in Panama City, Panama.
Luis Moreno scored the lone goal for Tauro F.C. from the penalty spot in the 76th minute, but it wasn’t enough to salvage a result against Toronto, who have now won both of their games away from home in this year’s tournament. They also topped Real Estelí F.C. in Nicaragua during the second leg of the preliminary round.
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The win not only helped Toronto keep pace with three points atop Group C with fellow MLS side FC Dallas, but also gave MLS teams a perfect 5-0 record during this week’s group play openers. Toronto is the Canadian representative, the other four MLS teams are flying American flags in this continental tournament.
Johnson’s goal came in the 22nd minute, when he pounced on a bounding ball in the Tauro box after a defensive miscue on the hosts’ back line. Johnson promptly volleyed a shot past Tauro goalkeeper Alvaro Anzola.
TFC doubled the lead just two minutes later, when de Guzman unleashed a right-footed shot from 30 yards out that fooled Anzola and found the back of the net.
Tauro controlled much of the possession in the second half and finally capitalized after De Guzman took down Carlos Rodriguez with a tackle inside the Toronto box. After a lengthy but unsuccessful argument from TFC assistant coach Bob de Klerk, Moreno promptly buried the penalty kick past TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic.
But that was as close as the hosts got to salvaging a result. Toronto FC return to action at home on Aug. 24 against FC Dallas at BMO Field (GET TICKETS), while Tauro host Mexican side Pumas on Aug. 25.
TOR --Johnson, 22’
TOR -- De Guzman, 24’
TAU -- Moreno, 76’
TOR –Iro, 20’
TOR – Eckersley, 32’
TOR – Stinson, 46’
TOR –Kocic, 55’
TAU – Moreno, 82’
TOR –De Guzman, 91’
TORONTO FC: Milos Kocic; Ty Harden, Andy Iro (Dasan Robinson 37’), Danleigh Borman, Richard Eckersley; Matt Stinson (Ashtone Morgan 45’), Ryan Johnson, Julian de Guzman; Peri Marosevic, Joao Plata , Danny Koevermans (Mikael Yourassowsky 58’).
TAURO FC: Alvaro Anzola; Gabriel Rios (Manuel Vargas 33’), Reinel Herrera, Luis Moreno, Leonel Parris, Carlos Rodriguez; Marcos Sanchez, Juan Perez, Juan Perrera; Auriel Gallardo (Manuel Vargas 57’), Diego Canali.