Sporting Kansas City and Deportivo Toluca FC are on a collision course, the outcome of which will be decided when the clubs meet in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16. Sporting will host the first leg of the aggregate-goal series on Feb. 21 at Children’s Mercy Park (get your tickets here) before venturing to Mexico for the decisive second leg on Feb. 28.
In the buildup to this titanic battle, SportingKC.com will provide weekly updates on Los Diablos Rojos as part of the site’s Tracking Toluca series. For more information about North America’s premier club tournament, visit our 2019 Champions League page.
In a mouthwatering clash featuring two of the best teams in Liga MX, Deportivo Toluca FC slipped to their first defeat of the Clausura campaign against reigning Concacaf Champions League winners Chivas Guadalajara on Sunday at Estadio Akron.
Mexican international Alan Pulido’s long-range strike in the 57th minute gave the hosts a 1-0 victory, sending Guadalajara atop the Liga MX standings while dropping Toluca to fourth place.
Yet the delicately poised affair didn’t come without major controversy, and a difficult refereeing decision in the second half ultimately went against Toluca.
Los Diablos Rojos thought they had restored parity in the 73rd minute when forward Enrique Triverio appeared to have headed home from close range. Chivas goalkeeper Raul Gudino reacted brilliantly to get a touch with his outstretched right hand, but the ball was initially deemed to have trickled across the goal line to make the score 1-1.
Wow. Goal or no goal? You make the call.— Web 🕸 Tilton (@webtilton) January 21, 2019
They decided no goal. After 8 minutes of VAR.
Chivas v Toluca pic.twitter.com/S0M7apjtNT
After a VAR intervention that lasted eight minutes, however, referee Jorge Perez Duran ruled that the ball did not fully cross the goal line and negated Triverio’s would-be equalizer. Toluca would push the envelope in search of a late leveler and finished with a 16-9 advantage in shots, but Chivas preserved their slender lead to the final whistle.
Toluca manager Hernan Cristante made just one change to his lineup from last weekend's 2-0 home win over Puebla as Omar Fernando Tobio replaced Adrian Mora in central defense. Triverio led the front line for the third straight game, while midfielders Carlos Esquivel and Felipe Pardo came off the bench as impact subs. Twenty-year-old forward Diego Abella, who earned his Toluca debut last Sunday, was also thrust into the action at the 90-minute mark with los Diablos Rojos hoping to rescue a late point.
Starting XI in 4-2-3-1 formation (R-L): Alfredo Talavera; Rodrigo Salinas, Osvaldo Gonzalez, Omar Tobio, Santiago Garcia; Antonio Rios, William; Luis Mendoza (Carlos Esquivel 65), Pablo Barrientos (Felipe Pardo 54), Alexis Canelo (Diego Abella 90); Enrique Triverio
Subs not used: GK Luis Garcia, DF Cristian Borja, DF Adrian Mora, MF Leonel Lopez
Toluca will return to the friendly confines of Estadio Nemesio Diez this Sunday to host heavyweight and fellow Champions League contender Tigres UANL (1-1-1, 7th place). The match is slated for noon CT and will be televised live on Univision. Tigres, which qualified for the Champions League as 2017 Apertura champions, will battle Costa Rican powerhouse Deportivo Saprissa in the Round of 16 next month.
Toluca Statistics (2019 Liga MX Clausura)
Record: 2-1-0, 6 points (1-0-0 home; 1-1-0 away)
Table: 4th in Liga MX
Goals for: 5
Goals against: 2
|FW Enrique Triverio||3||3||264||3||0|
|DF Santiago Garcia||3||3||270||1||0|
|FW Alexis Canelo||3||3||268||1||0|
|MF Antonio Rios||3||3||270||0||0|
|DF Osvaldo Gonzalez||3||3||270||0||0|
|MF Pablo Barrientos||3||3||234||0||0|
|MF Luis Mendoza||3||3||200||0||0|
|DF Adrian Mora||2||2||180||0||1|
|DF Rodrigo Salinas||2||2||180||0||0|
|MF Felipe Pardo||2||0||63||0||0|
|MF Carlos Esquivel||2||0||43||0||0|
|FW Diego Abella||2||0||7||0||0|
|DF Omar Tobio||1||1||90||0||0|
|DF Richard Ruiz||1||1||82||0||0|
|MF Leonel Lopez||1||0||20||0||1|
|DF Cristian Borja||1||0||8||0||0|
|MF Alan Medina||1||0||1||0||0|
2019 Toluca Schedule and Results
|Friday, Jan. 4||at Morelia||Liga MX||W 3-1|
|Sunday, Jan. 13||PUEBLA||Liga MX||W 2-0|
|Sunday, Jan. 20||at Guadalajara||Liga MX||L 0-1|
|Sunday, Jan. 27||TIGRES UANL||Liga MX||12pm|
|Saturday, Feb. 2||at Tijuana||Liga MX||9pm|
|Sunday, Feb. 10||CRUZ AZUL||Liga MX||12pm|
|Saturday, Feb. 16||at Leon||Liga MX||7pm|
|Thursday, Feb. 21||at Sporting KC||Champions League||7pm|
|Sunday, Feb. 24||at Santos Laguna||Liga MX||6pm|
|Thursday, Feb. 28||SPORTING KC||Champions League||9pm|
|Sunday, March 3||VERACRUZ||Liga MX||12pm|
|Saturday, March 9||at Necaxa||Liga MX||9pm|
|Sunday, March 17||ATLAS||Liga MX||1pm|
|Saturday, March 30||at Pachuca||Liga MX||8pm|
|Sunday, April 7||MONTERREY||Liga MX||12pm|
|Saturday, April 13||at Queretaro||Liga MX||5pm|
|Sunday, April 21||CLUB AMERICA||Liga MX||12pm|
|Sunday, April 28||at Pumas UNAM||Liga MX||12pm|
|Saturday, May 4||LOBOS BUAP||Liga MX||9pm|