A goal from Miguel Almazán in the 84th minute gave CD Toluca FC a vital 2:1 away victory against CSD Municipal in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal series.
José Saturnino Cardozo once again found the back of the net, opening the scoring after just nine minutes, but Mario Acevedo pulled Municipal level just before halftime. Almazán then finally hit home to give Toluca a deserved victory.
Just six minutes into the match Cardozo seemed to have put the visitors ahead, but the apparent goal was ruled out when he was adjudged to be offside. But it took just three minutes to vindicate the ruling when he sent Toluca into the lead.
Municipal had a glorious opportunity to equalize just five minutes later when Juan Carlos Plata was taken down in the Toluca penalty area. But goalkeeper César Lozano saved Selvin Ponciano's effort from the spot.
Lozano was beaten again shortly thereafter, only for the effort from Gonzalo Romero to rebound back off of his left post.
Municipal finally did pull level in the 41st minute when the rojos converted a corner kick. Acevedo went up well to win the kick and headed home powerfully to even terms.
But Toluca gradually began to regain the upper hand in the second half. Twice in the half Municipal goalkeeper Dany Ortiz parried shots Cardozo seemed to have sent to the back of the net.
Municipal, on the other hand, struggled to put together a coherent attack in the half, especially after the substitution of Plata in the 70th minute. It left Municipal with three rookies on the field - Carlos Figueroa, Carlos Castillo and Luis Bonilla - and they failed to find their rhythm.
Toluca's domination finally paid off in the 85th minute when Almazán headed home a perfect cross from Cardozo to give the current Mexican champions a deserved victory to take home for the return leg next Wednesday.
Municipal had one final chance in stoppage time when they won a free kick just outside the right corner of the penalty area, but the effort was well off the mark.
09.04.2003: Cd. Guatemala; Estadio Mateo Flores
CSD MUNICIPAL - CD TOLUCA FC 1:2 (1:1)
Mario ACEVEDO 41' - José Santurino CARDOZO 9'; Miguel ALMAZáN 84'
MUNICIPAL: Dany Ortiz - Claudio Albizuris, Eddy Ortiz, Selvin Ponciano, Denis Chen, Sergio Guevara, Julio Girón, Carlos Figueroa (79: Luis Bonilla), Gonzalo Romero, Mario Acevedo Juan Carlos Plata (69: Carlos Castillo).
TOLUCA: César Lozano - Ariel Franco (62: Miguel Almazán), Emilio Viades, Salvador Carmona, Maximiliano Cuberas, Octavio Valdez, Israel López, Rafael García, Antonio Naelson, José Santurino Cardozo, édgar González (65: Sergio Ponce). Booked: Naelson 13'; López 13'; García 20'; Cuberas 53'; Valdez 88'.
R: Nery ALFARO (SLV)