Talk about the Christians being thrown to the lions.
That's how Ali Gerba must have felt Wednesday night when he made his debut for Toronto FC.
The Canadian club's opponent?
No less than River Plate, the 33-time champions of Argentina and one of the most storied teams in the history of South American soccer.
Despite failing to score in regulation, the Canadian forward more than held his own in the international friendly as Toronto lost close a 4-3 penalty shootout decision to the Buenos Aires powerhouse.
"I think it went well," Gerba said of his debut, although he admitted that he found it a bit difficult playing on BMO Field's artificial turf.
Toronto fans received their first look at Gerba, who has been away on national team duty with Canada at the CONCACAF Gold Cup ever since signing with the MLS club last month.
They had to have liked what they saw.
Gerba played only 55 minutes but he looked very dangerous, using his speed and deft ball control to ask serious questions of the River defence.