After 45 minutes, Toronto FC and Santos Laguna are deadlocked 1-1, with goals from Herculez Gomez and Miguel Aceval. Both sides looked solid in the first half, and although Santos had more pressure on TFC's defense, it was a pretty open half of play.
Santos had the better of the early chances. In particular, Gomez nearly had a wondergoal when he made a poked shot after receiving a pass over his shoulder in the box with a defender on him. Although the shot would have been close, TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic made a save to deflect it in the 19th minute. Besides that, Carlos Darwin Quintero shot a tightly angled shot in the 12th minute off a broken play in the box that Kocic also had to save.
The breakthrough came in the 30th minute, when Quintero sent another long pass to Gomez, who took a long touch on it, but recovered enough to send an angled shot past Kocic's outstretched arm. Considering Gomez's form in the past month or so, the goal looked inevitable.
While it might have been expected that Toronto would close up shop, they battled back and leveled the score in the 37th minute. Danny Koevermans, who had a nice free kick very early in the match that forced a save from Oswaldo Sánchez, stepped off the free kick in the 37th minute after receiving a yellow card for failing to follow the referee's directions. Aceval stepped up and put the hosts back in the match.
Although it seems like these teams are still trying to figure each other out, it looks like it will be another solid half ahead in this match.