Toluca tops Caledonia 3-1 in Mexico City

Toluca vs CaledoniaIt seems high altitude of Mexico City proved yet again, that it is a mammoth advantage for home sides, when Mexican club Deportivo Toluca topped Trinidad and Tobago club Caledonia AIA 3-1 on Tuesday night in the opening day of the 2013-14 Concacaf Champions League.

The odds were always against Caledonia playing at the Estadio Nemesio Díez, which stands 8,793 feet above sea level. And Toluca’s now unbeaten form in nine of 10 all-time CCL home games (7-2-1) says a lot in terms of the altitude advantage.

Caledonia went under in the 24th minute when Edgar Benitez, who set up the Diablos Rojos’ third item in the second period, slotted a low strike past goalkeeper Glenroy Samuel and into the lower right corner.

Toluca gained possession in the midfield through Edy Brambila who sent a perfect through pass to an onrushing Benitez, who found himself with a couple of steps ahead of new Caledonia defensive signing Jamal Smith, and motored his way into the penalty area before finding the back of the net.

That item came a minute after Caledonia midfielder Andre Toussaint blasted a 22-yard effort high after weaving past a couple Toluca players.

The host did not wait very long to double its advantage when in the 30th minute Miguel Almazan fired a free kick from 25 yards past a fully stretched Samuel and into the lower left corner for a 2-0 cushion.

Toluca vs CaledoniaCaledonia was later inches shy of pulling a goal back, when midfielder Keyon Edwards’ crack at goal from distance was superbly gloved onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera to the disappointment of the Morvant/Laventille club.

And in the 60th minute, Raul Nava netted his fourth career CCL goal, converting a Benitez pass from the top of the penalty box with his left foot to make the score 3-0.
 Caledonia finally pegged the away goal in the 88th minute for a 3-1 score when second half substitute Julian Wade knocked in an Aubrey David pass from the left corner.

The Montserrat international guided the ball first time through the legs of Talavera to celebrate one late, while Toluca took top position of Group 6.

Both teams' next games will be against Guatemala's Comunicaciones. Toluca will visit the Guatemalan club on August 22, while Caledonia will host the Central American side on August 29.