CCL: Sporting Kansas City vs Toluca – First Leg Recap and Highlights

Toluca faces an uphill battle to advance in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League after suffering a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of their semifinal series.

Toluca started the game off well and found an early chance through Luis Mendoza, but his third-minute shot went just wide of the post. After that, though, Kansas City began to control the game.

Krisztián Németh had a good chance for the hosts in the 16th minute when he got on the end of a cross, but his attempt went wide.

Toluca then suffered a setback as an injury to Enrique Triverio forced him out of the game in the 21st minute. His replacement, Emmanuel Gigliotti, nearly had an own-goal minutes later when his attempted clearance ended up crashing into the woodwork.

The breakthrough came for KC in the 35th minute. Németh pounced on a rebound in the box and buried it with a left-footed shot to make it 1-0 for the MLS side.

Toluca looked to respond in the second half, but instead Kansas City began to run up the score. In the 51st minute, Gerso got into the box, collected a rebound, and beat Alfredo Talavera to make it 2-0.

The Diablos Rojos looked for a response, but they struggled to create clear chances. The most notable one came through Rodrigo Salinas, who connected with a cross from Gigliotti but couldn’t put it on frame.

Then, in the 71st minute, Sporting added a dagger with a golazo by Ilie Sánchez. Toluca was unable to clear their lines and the ball fell to the Spaniard at the top of the box; his volleyed shot went in off the underside of the crossbar to make it 3-0 for the hosts.

With the 3-0 win, Kansas City will advance with a win, draw, or one- or two-goal loss in next week’s second leg. Toluca needs to win by four to move on, with a 3-0 victory sending the series to penalties.

Highlights

Lineups

Kansas City: Tim Melia, Matt Besler, Andreu Fontàs, Seth Sinovic, Graham Zusi, Ilie Sánchez, Felipe Gutiérrez, Roger Espinoza (Kelyn Rowe 78′), Krisztián Németh (Erik Hurtado 82′), Gerso (Daniel Salloi 87′), Johnny Russell.

Toluca: Alfredo Talavera, Omar Tobio, Jonatan Maidana, Osvaldo González, Rodrigo Salinas, Pablo Barrientos (Leonel López 62′), Federico Mancuello, Antonio Ríos (Iván Acero 76′), Enrique Triverio (Emmanuel Gigliotti 21′), Luis Mendoza, Felipe Pardo.

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