Friday, October 24, 2014

CONCACAF Champions League - Match Day 6 - Round 1 Wrap-Up

The final eight spots are set with Olimpia, América, Alajuelense and Saprissa all clinching their groups. They'll join DC United, Pachuca, the Montreal Impact and Herediano in the quarterfinals. Costa Rica has the most teams advancing with three while Mexico has two, the U.S. and Canada each have one and Honduras has one. Here's the seeding and match-ups for the next round:

(1) DC United vs (8) Alajuelense
(2) America vs (7) Saprissa
(3) Herediano vs (6) Olimpia
(4) Montreal Impact vs (5) Pachuca

Here's a rundown of the final matches of the group stage:


DC United 1 Tauro FC 0

A fluke header by Conor Shanosky, who hasn't played in a regular season game this year and has logged all of 5 appearances in 5 seasons with the club, helped DC United complete a sweep of Group 4 to clinch the top seed in the Champions League Quarterfinals. With the group already clinched, DC rested the majority of its starters with only defender Chris Korb, who came on late as a substitute tallying double digit regular season starts this year. Joe Willis made 3 saves in net to earn the shutout as DC ended up the only team in group play to win all four of their matches.

América 2 Comunicaciones 0

Oribe Peralta, who scored against Cameroon during the World Cup, struck on each side of the intermission to clinch Group 8 for the Mexican club and send them on to the quarterfinals. Peralta scored 3 goals during group play, all of them coming against Comunicaciones. Hugo Gonzalez made 4 saves to complete the shutout.

Olimpia 3 Portland Timbers 1

Portland scored 14 goals in their first three matches, but in the end it wasn't enough as they allowed two goals in the opening 5 minutes against Olimpia and eventually lost 3-1, losing the tiebreaker on away goals 2-1. Romell Quioto scored once and Anthony Lozano picked up his second brace of the tournament to send the Honduran squad through to the quarterfinals and leave the Timbers hung out to dry. Ben Zemanski scored the lone goal for Portland.

Cruz Azul 1 Alajuelense 1

Cruz Azul. the tournament's defending champions, became the second Mexican club to fail to make the quarterfinals needing a win, but settling for a draw against Costa Rica's Alajuelense. Armando Alonso scored in the opening 2 minutes, and while the defense bent, it never broke and Cruz Azul could not find the goal they needed to send the Costa Rican side home in their place. For Alonso, it was his third goal of the tournament, and second against Cruz Azul. He scored three of Alajuelense's four goals during group play. Gerardo Torrado, who made 144 appearances for Mexico between 1999 and 2013, scored the lone goal for Cruz Azul.


New York 1 Montreal 1

The Impact missed a chance to be perfect in group play when Conor Lade scored an equalizer in the 85th minute to give the Red Bulls a draw against Montreal. Jack McInerney's first goal of the tournament had given Montreal a lead not 15 minutes earlier, but Montreal instead had to settle for the tie and fell into fourth place overall. New York, eliminated from the tourney, now shifts its focus to the MLS postseason.

Real España 3 Pachuca 2

Two goals by Edder Delgado gave already eliminated Real España their first win of the tournament and while it was too late for them, it did drop Pachuca into the bottom half of the quarterfinal bracket. Pachuca also saw striker Darío Carreño sent off in the second half which means he'll miss the next match against Montreal. 


Saprissa 2 Sporting KC 0

Sporting saw both Benny Feilhaber and Igor Juliao leave this match with injuries before halftime, and ultimately that was too much to overcome as Sporting saw a 2-goal aggregate lead slip away and they fell to Saprissa 2-0, getting eliminated on an away goals tiebreaker 1-0. Ariel Rodriguez, tied for the tournament lead with his 5th goal just after halftime and that was enough to put Saprissa through giving Costa Rica three teams in the Round of 8. Eric Kronberg made 5 saves in a losing effort. It should be noted that Sporting did not dress World Cup vets Graham Zusi or Matt Besler and their leading scorer Dom Dwyer didn't enter the match until the 65th minute.

Leon 4 Isidro Metapán 1

After a scoreless first half, substitutes Jose Jair Ruiz and Yamilson Rivera each notched braces as Leon exited the tournament with a 4-1 win over Isidro Metapán  Vargas also added an assist while Metapán keeper Henry Hernandez tallied 10 saves, but he couldn't stop his club from finishing the tournament 0-4. 

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