It was a good week for the MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League, with all three remaining MLS sides grabbing victories in the first legs of their quarter-finals.
Seattle, Toronto and the Red Bulls all got wins against Mexican opposition this week.
Club America 4 (Corona 19’, Martin 71’, Dominguez 79’, Ibarguen 81’)
It looked as if Tauro would be coming away from Mexico just a goal down, but three late strikes gave Club America a four-goal victory on home soil. Joe Corona opened the scoring for the hosts inside the opening twenty minutes, with the Mexican side then relaxing into the game, and remaining comfortable for the next hour or so.
The final twenty minutes saw a flurry of action, with America scoring three more times. Henry Martin made it two, before Cecilio Dominguez scored his third of the competition, in as many games. Andrew Ibarguen scored the fourth in the 81st minute, to compound the misery for the travelling Panamanian side. Tauro will need a miracle in the second leg, next Wednesday evening.
Seattle Sounders 1 (Dempsey 78’)
Chivas Guadalajara 0
It took just a single goal for the Seattle Sounders to take victory in the home leg of their quarter final tie in this year’s CONCACAF Champions League. Over 42,000 people were in attendance at CenturyLink Field to see Clint Dempsey score the winner with twelve minutes of time remaining. The American side will take their slender lead to Mexico on Wednesday.
NY Red Bulls 2 (Wright-Phillips 9’, 67’)
Two goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips helped the New York Red Bulls to a comfortable away win in Mexico in their first leg. The Englishman opened the scoring in just the ninth minute of the match. A cross from the far side rebounded to the striker, who tucked home to put the Bulls in front, on the road. For the rest of the first half, their GK, Luis Robles, was the start of the show. He made several diving saves to keep Tijuana at bay.
Robles continued to do the same in the second period, cementing that clean sheet for the visitors on Tuesday night. Halfway through the second half, and Bradley Wright-Phillips doubled both his, and his team’s, tally on the night. He cut inside a defender and struck a shot into the near post to make it 2-0. The Bulls’ first ever road win in the CCL could be the key to them making it through to the last four of this year’s competition. They host Tijuana in the second leg next Tuesday.
Toronto FC 2 (Altidore 60’, Osorio 89’)
Tigres UANL 1 (Vargas 52’)
The sole Canadian side in the tournament will take a lead into the second leg of their tie, having come from behind to defeat Tigres UANL on Wednesday night. It remained goalless until the interval, but the Mexican side took the lead shortly after the break. Former QPR striker, Eduardo Vargas, opened the scoring for Tigres. However, Toronto were back on level terms just eight minutes later. Jozy Altidore got the goal to make it 1-1. The MLS side then got a winner in the final moments, with Jonathan Osorio scoring in the 89th minute. They will take a lead to Mexico for Tuesday’s second leg.
Written by Matt Coles (Twitter, @MattJColes)