The 2018 CONCACAF Champions League is nearing its conclusion. Of the 16 teams who began the competition, only Club Deportivo (Chivas) Guadalajara and Toronto FC remain to battle in the two-legged final.
The first leg takes place on Tuesday 17 April, with the Canadians hosting their Mexican rivals. Toronto FC will be full of confidence after knocking out Mexican giants Club America in the semi-finals, while Chivas got past New York Red Bulls. Can the Canadian outfit take control of the tie in front of their own fans or will Guadalajara spring a surprise on the road?
FIFA.com previews the first leg.
Toronto FC-Chivas Guadalajara, BMO Field, Toronto, 20:15 (local time)
Guadalajara have conceded just one goal in their six games in the competition so far, keeping five clean sheets in the process. The scorers of ten goals to date, Toronto FC will be out to test the Mexicans’ defensive solidity.
Tactics are sure to play a part in what promises to be an exciting encounter. A young Chivas side has shown that it can bide its time before hitting on the break in deadly fashion, while the Canadians specialise in patient build-up play and set-piece routines.
Player to watch
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
The 31-year-old Italian has been in superlative form of late and has played a key part in Toronto FC reaching their maiden CONCACAF Champions League final.
Aside from his superb vision, which he has used to great effect in playing his team-mates in, Giovinco has also showcased his ability to score crucial goals. It was his wonder strike that settled the quarter-final tie against Tigres UANL, while he also set his side on the road to victory against Club America in the semis.
Did you know?
The last time Guadalajara won the competition was in 1962, when it was known as the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup and was comprised of just eight teams. Chivas claimed the title after beating Guatemala’s Comunicaciones 6-0 on aggregate in the final.
What they said
“We didn’t enter this tournament just to reach the final; we’re in it to win it. Guadalajara are very strong opponents and we have to find a way to win the title. So, the job’s not done yet and we’re not going to settle for what we’ve got. We have a lot of work to do.” Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney