Soccer  > General Soccer  > Toronto surprises Cruz Azul in 2-1 victory
August 18, 2010, 11:14 AM
TORONTO -- Miguel Angel Ferrer Martinez (Mista) scored and set up another to lead Toronto FC to a 2-1 upset of Cruz Azul Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League Group A opener for both clubs.

The Spaniard took a centring pass from Raivis Hscanovics, set up and sent a low left-footed shot that goalkeeper Yosgart Gutierrez got a hand on, but couldn't keep from the inside the left post. It proved to be the winner as Cruz Azul's Christian Gimenez got one back in the 90th minute, before time ran out.

Martin Saric added the other goal to help keep The Reds' undefeated streak at home in 2010 intact at 10-0-4 in MLS, Nutrilite Canadian Championship and CONCACAF Champions League play. The win before 16,862 was critical as Toronto plays its next three Champions League matches away from BMO Field.

"We were ready to go, ready to compete, we were ready to press them," said TFC coach Preki. "It was the game plan to press them, to kick long balls because we knew they're not the biggest team in the world and we can deal with the long balls out of the back and I thought we did a pretty nice job and it was very unfortunate that we didn't score one more goal."

Both teams fielded different lineups from those that started recent league games. But it was Toronto's moves that paid dividends against the club many favoured to win, arguably, the toughest group, which also includes MLS champion Real Salt Lake and Panama's Arabe Unido.

Despite missing starting strikers Chad Barrett and Maicon Santos to injury, Toronto took the play to the two-time Champions League finalists generating most of the scoring opportunities and possession. Their replacements, Martinez and O'Brian White, were a handful for Cruz Azul before substituting out in the second half.

By then they did their damage.

Martinez figured in on Saric's goal, then scored his own in the 44th minute on an assist from White.

Saric marked his return from a quadriceps injury, giving Toronto the lead in the 3rd minute. The Argentine, who missed eight games, took advantage of a loose ball in the goal crease to head the ball by Gutierrez.

That goal marked the first time Cruz Azul has conceded a goal in five games all-time against North American opposition in the Champions League. The eight-time Primera Division champions previously shut out MLS clubs DC United and Columbus Crew twice each.

Opting to give some regulars a rest, Cruz Azul coach Enrique Meza started a lineup that deviated from the one that has his club off to a 3-1 start in the 2010 Mexican Apertura. Six starters sat including leading goal scorer Javier Orozco (four) and Mexico captain Gerardo Torrado.

"We played on Saturday and we knew that Toronto hadn't played since last Wednesday and I tried to give fresh air to my players, but we failed," said Meza. "From the beginning Toronto played with everything based on their quality, but they were physically better, taller and better prepared."


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