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Chivas Beats Toronto FC in Shootout to Win 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Final

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2018

ZAPOPAN, MEXICO - APRIL 25: Team of Chivas scelebrates with the champion trophy after the second leg match of the final between Chivas and Toronto FC as part of CONCACAF Champions League 2018 at Akron Stadium on April 25, 2018 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Chivas Guadalajara beat Toronto FC 4-2 on penalties in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on Wednesday at the Estadio Akron after the match finished with an aggregate score of 3-3. 

The Major League Soccer side recorded a 2-1 win on the night thanks to goals from Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco. It scored after Orbelin Pineda handed Chivas a 3-1 aggregate lead with his opener, but the Canadian team fell short in the shootout.

Chivas scored with all four of its spot-kicks, but misses from Toronto's Jonathan Osorio and Michael Bradley proved costly.

The competition's official Twitter account provided highlights of the absorbing contest:

THE CHAMPIONS @TheChampions

Guadalajara 1 (4) - 2 (2) Toronto Highlights | @Chivas @torontofc #SCCL2018 https://t.co/drv2ojjvXC

Because of several injuries, Toronto started the game with a centre-back pairing of right-back Gregory van der Wiel and midfielder Bradley, and Chivas capitalized early on. It looked to be in a comfortable position on home turf when Rodolfo Pizarro slipped Pineda in after 18 minutes.

Toronto had turned things around before half-time, however. Altidore slotted home after Chivas failed to clear its lines following a corner, while Giovinco struck with a low effort.

The Mexican side were fortunate not to be a man down after the break when Michael Perez appeared to punch Giovinco off the ball. Chivas was also denied by the post when substitute Jose de Jesus Godinez crashed an effort on goal. 

Toronto should have sealed a late win when Giovinco picked out Marky Delgado in space, but the midfielder sent the gilt-edged chance over the bar, and Bradley's decisive penalty went the same way.

Goal USA's Ives Galarcep singled him out for praise despite the miss, while ESPN FC's Tom Marshall reflected on Toronto's impressive campaign:

Ives Galarcep @SoccerByIves

Michael Bradley has never been known as a great penalty taker, but that didn't stop him from stepping up to take the pressure kick. Plenty will have fun with his latest stumble, but fact remains he was outstanding all tournament and immense during the 90 minutes tonight.

Tom Marshall @mexicoworldcup

This season’s @thechampions will be hard to live up to next year. A lot of the credit for that goes to @torontofc. TFC have redefined perceptions of @mls in Mexico this season. Giovinco applauded as he won the top player award #ligamxeng #cclfever

The win represents Chivas' first Champions League title since triumphing in the inaugural tournament in 1962, and it continued Liga MX's domination of the competition.

A Mexican side has won each of the last 13 finals, while MLS has not had a winner since Los Angeles Galaxy in 2000.

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