Toronto FC and Mexico’s Santos Laguna exchanged first-half goals in an entertaining sometimes ill-tempered 1-1 tie to open their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal Wednesday night.
Up a man in the final minutes, Toronto could not secure the go-ahead goal in a dramatic finale.
And there was a final whistle melee involving both teams after a second Mexican player — Darwin Quintero — was sent off, apparently for felling defender Ashtone Morgan.
After a pair of woeful MLS outings, a hard-working Toronto FC showed plenty of resolve against a skilful high-scoring side that currently tops the Mexican league.
But next week’s second leg in Mexico could prove far more testing, especially with an away goal in Santos Laguna’s pocket.
Defender Miguel Aceval scored on a memorable free kick for Toronto FC, who had the Mexicans reeling on set plays.