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Sporting KC dominate Toluca and advance to the CCL Quarterfinals

SKC travel to Mexico and embarrass Toluca, winning over their fans

Thad Bell

Despite taking a 3-0 lead to Toluca after the first leg, there were still a measure of doubt if Sporting Kansas City would be able to finish it off or if the home team could make up the difference. Toluca was on their field, at an altitude that they were acclimated to and might be on a rebound after their coach was fired.

History was also not favorable to MLS teams playing their second leg in Mexico.

Those fears almost started to come true when a Toluca player headed a corner kick off the under side of the cross bar just a couple minutes in to the match. The ball bounced straight down on the line and then bounced off of Roger Espinoza and away from goal but was an inch from going in the goal.

But it didn’t.

Sporting KC weathered the early pressure from Toluca and right at the seven minute mark. The visitors were starting to find their possession and after a sequence of passes, Espinoza found Gerso Fernandes streaking down the field. Gerso then beat a defender and sliced a shot in the net giving Sporting KC another goal in the aggregate and the crucial away goal. With Toluca down 4-0 they would have had to make a five goal run to overcome the away goal.

Things got worse for Toluca when Krisztian Nemeth was pulled down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot and gave Adrián Mora a red card. Nemeth claimed the ball and took the penalty himself. Nemeth showed which way he was going, the keeper went that way but the Hungarian striker buried it out of reach.

Sporting KC now advances to face Club Atlético Independiente de la Chorrera of Panama in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. CA Independiente beat Toronto FC by an aggregate of 5-1.

Before Sporting KC playes their next CCL match, they have to face LAFC on Sunday.