Odd free kick puts Toronto behind 8-ball
Alan Pulido’s 72nd minute free kick goal has Toronto FC behind the 8-ball after conceding a pair of away goals to Chivas Guadalajara as part of a 2-1 loss in the CONCACAF Champions League Final first leg at BMO Field.
Rodolfo Pizarro put Chivas up in the second minute, with Jonathan Osorio equalizing before halftime for TFC.
Chivas hosts the second leg at 9:45 p.m. ET on April 25. Toronto will need a two-goal win, a 2-1 win, or a one-goal win with more than three goals scored at Estadio Chivas.
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Chivas scored in the second minute, Pizarro taking advantage of poor defending from TFC and worse marking from Auro to convert an Isaac Brizuela pass into an early goal.
Toronto leveled the score through its veteran home town hero, the 25-year-old sliding onto the back post cross of Marky Delgado after Sebastian Giovinco dribbled to find Jozy Altidore.
Chivas almost saw a vintage Giovinco free kick goal, but Miguel Jiménez flew to make a two-handed parry of the Italian’s swooping effort.
Delgado got a pretty pass from Giovinco but was pressured into sailing a shot over the bar as the second half began at BMO.
TFC backstop Alex Bono made a massive save when Orbelin Pineda left Michael Bradley for dead and lashed a shot toward the far post.
Giovinco had another free kick from a promising distance that seemed too far, and had it bounce in front of Jimenez leading to a corner kick.
Drew Moor won another corner with a side-footed effort while holding off a defender, as TFC pushed for a goal that could make all the difference in the tie.
Chivas seemingly needed something special to beat Bono a second time, and it kinda got it when the Syracuse product made a mistake on a whirling Pulido free kick from almost corner kick distance.
Giovinco was somehow denied a penalty kick when he was dragged down in the box with just under 15 minutes to play, and the diminutive superstar saw a dragged shot slapped wide of the goal by Jimenez.