Toronto FC draws 1-1 with Santos Lagunas
Miguel Aceval scored in the 37th minute to give Toronto FC a 1-1 draw with Santos Laguna in a testy CONCACAF Champions League semifinal Wednesday night.
American Herculez Gomez scored for the Mexican team in the 30th minute. It was his ninth of the season and fourth in the Champions League.
Up a man in the final minutes, Toronto could not secure the go-ahead goal and the first leg ended with a melee at the final whistle, during which Darwin Quintero was sent off.
Toronto captain Julian de Guzman said teammate Ashtone Morgan was head-butted by Quintero ''and then hell broke loose at that point.''
Toronto coach Aron Winter said the final melee happened so quickly he couldn't see what happened. Santos coach Benjamin Galindo said Toronto defender Miguel Aceval came off the bench and threw a punch - an accusation that Aceval was quick to dismiss.
''The expulsion was given to the wrong player. It should have been given to the Canada player,'' Galindo said through an interpreter
Osmar Mares was sent off in the 77th for a two-footed challenge. But Santos left town with a valuable away goal heading into Wednesday's second leg.
Gomez accounted for the Santos goal, beating Milos Kocic after the Toronto defense was breached by a through ball
The last team from MLS standing in the tournament for clubs from North and Central America and the Caribbean, Toronto advanced to the semifinals by upsetting defending MLS champion Los Angeles 4-3 on aggregate in the quarterfinals.
Now they'll head into an unfriendly reception next week in Torreon, Mexico.
''They've already warned us that it's going to be a war over there,'' de Guzman said.