Tracking Toluca: Tigres hand Diablos Rojos second straight 1-0 defeat

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, 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.

After vaulting to Liga MX summit earlier this month, Deportivo Toluca FC have crashed back down to earth following their second straight 1-0 setback.

In their first Clausura fixture against a fellow participant in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, los Diablos Rojos dropped to eighth place in Liga MX with a narrow home loss to Tigres UANL at Estadio Nemesio Diez.

Tigres midfielder Luis Quinones, who scored nine times in 33 appearances for Toluca in 2018, sealed the bitter fate of his former club with a superb game-winning strike on the cusp of halftime. His left-footed laser from outside the box struck the woodwork, bounced into the turf and back into the field of play, but VAR intervention prompted the referee to award the goal after the ball had clearly crossed over the goal line.

Santiago Garcia, Felipe Pardo and Rodrigo Salinas all missed by a matter of inches during a lively first half in which Toluca dominated the run of play, but the hosts were made to pay for their profligacy when Quinones fired Tigres ahead.

Chasing an equalizer, Toluca continued to control proceedings in the second stanza and finished with a 23-7 advantage in shots attempts. Debutant Emmanuel Gigliotti forced Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman into a reflex save in what was ultimately the best chance for an equalizer.

Fresh Faces

Sunday’s showdown saw three Argentines make their Toluca debuts after landing high-profile transfers to the club this winter. Center back Jonatan Maidana anchored the backline after spending the previous eight years with River Plate, where he won the 2018 Copa Libertadores last month. Maidana, 33, has five caps for Argentina and boasts more than 400 professional appearances over the last 15 years.

In the midfield, 29-year-old playmaker Federico Mancuello entered as a 66th-minute substitute for his first Toluca outing. He featured prominently for Independiente from 2008-2015 before making top-flight stops in Brazil with Flamengo (2016-17) and Cruzeiro (2018) over the last three seasons. Mancuello has been capped twice by Argentina’ senior team.

Bolstering the Toluca attack was Gigliotti, who earned his maiden appearance for the side as a halftime substitute. The 31-year-old veteran, who landed his lone cap for Argentina in 2011, amassed 147 goals in 389 club matches prior to arriving in Mexico. A prolific striker, Gigliotti has spent most of his career in Argentina but also had brief stints in Italy and China.

Pardo wasn’t a debutant, but he did earn his first Toluca start after coming off the bench in the previous two games. The 28-year-old Colombian winger arrived this winter from Greek powerhouse Olympiacos, where he recorded 15 goals and 13 assists in 77 matches.

Toluca Lineup

Toluca boss Hernan Cristante fielded an attack-minded lineup on Sunday, making three changes from last weekend’s defeat at Guadalajara. Maidana replaced Osvaldo Gonzalez while Pardo and promising 20-year-old Diego Abella came in for Alexis Canelo and Pablo Barrientos, respectiely.

Canelo, an integral piece of Toluca’s attack since 2017, fractured his fibula in training on Wednesday and has been ruled out indefinitely. His ailment could prove significant with a Champions League matchup against Sporting KC on the horizon. Barrientos also missed through injury but figures to return to action in the coming days.

Starting XI in 4-4-2 formation (R-L): Alfredo Talavera; Rodrigo Salinas, Jonatan Maidana, Omar Tobio, Santiago Garcia; Luis Mendoza, William (Federico Mancuello 66), Antonio Rios, Felipe Pardo; Diego Abella (Emmanuel Gigliotti 45), Enrique Triverio

Subs not used: GK Luis Garcia, DF Osvaldo Gonzalez, DF Adrian Mora, MF Carlos Esquivel, MF Leonel Lopez

Up Next

Toluca will look to bounce back Saturday when they travel northwest to face Tijuana, who have claimed just one win in six matches this month across all competitions. The contest at Estadio Caliente will air live in English on FS1 with kickoff slated for 9 p.m. CT.

Toluca Statistics (2019 Liga MX Clausura)

Record: 2-2-0, 6 points (1-1-0 home; 1-1-0 away)
Table: 8th in Liga MX
Goals for: 5
Goals against: 3

FW Enrique Triverio 4 4 354 3 0
DF Santiago Garcia 4 4 360 1 0
MF Antonio Rios 4 4 360 0 0
MF William 4 4 316 0 0
MF Luis Mendoza 4 4 290 0 0
FW Alexis Canelo 3 3 268 1 0
DF Osvaldo Gonzalez 3 3 270 0 0
DF Rodrigo Salinas 3 3 270 0 0
MF Pablo Barrientos 3 3 234 0 0
MF Felipe Pardo 3 1 153 0 0
FW Diego Abella 3 1 52 0 0
DF Adrian Mora 2 2 180 0 1
DF Omar Tobio 2 2 180 0 0
MF Carlos Esquivel 2 0 43 0 0
DF Jonatan Maidana 1 1 90 0 0
DF Richard Ruiz 1 1 82 0 0
MF Leonel Lopez 1 0 20 0 1
FW Emmanuel Gigliotti 1 0 45 0 0
MF Federico Mancuello 1 0 24 0 0
DF Cristian Borja 1 0 8 0 0
MF Alan Medina 1 0 1 0 0


Player GP GS MIN Saves GAA W-L-T
Alfredo Talavera 4 4 360 6 0.75 2-2-0

2019 Toluca Schedule and Results

Date Opponent Competition Result/Time (CT)
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 L 0-1
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