This time there would be no miracle finish.
Toronto FC could manage only a scoreless draw in Tuesday night’s away match against the Puerto Rico Islanders, eliminating the MLS club from the CONCACAF Champions League tournament.
After losing to Puerto Rico 1-0 at home last week in the first leg of the two-match playoff, Toronto needed to win by at least that same score Tuesday to stay alive.
But the Islanders, who play in the inferior United Soccer League’s First Division, smartly remained behind the ball for most of the night in Bayamon, protecting their aggregate lead.
Toronto had advanced to face Puerto Rico with an improbable 6-1 road victory over the USL’s Montreal Impact in late June. Toronto needed to win that match by at least four goals to take the Canadian leg of the tournament over the Vancouver Whitecaps, also of the USL.
Toronto is now winless in its last five meaningful matches, including losses against San Jose and Columbus and draws against Houston and New England in MLS play.
The Reds will host Spanish superclub Real Madrid in a friendly on Friday night.
Puerto Rico advanced to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, and will compete in Group C with the Columbus Crew, Deportivo Saprissa and the winner of the CS Herediano versus Cruza Azul preliminary round series.