• Wednesday Apr 09, 2008

    Champions' Cup semifinals conclude this evening

    Just four games remain in the 2008 CONCACAF Champions' Cup™. And after 43 editions in the past 46 years (the inaugural tournament was played in 1961) the region's premier club competition will soon become a footnote in the confederation's history books. Starting in August a brand new tournament, the CONCACAF Champions League, will get underway featuring 24 teams, 78 games and a group stage. But before the Champions League begins there are two semifinals to complete and a final Champions' Cup victor to crown.

    In the first semifinal defending winners Pachuca CF of Mexico will travel to Washington, DC to take on the USA's D.C. United. The first leg of the semifinal finished 2:0 in favor of the Tuzos after a hard fought battle in the Estadio Hidalgo with both goals coming from Pachuca's Luis Montes. The Mexican midfielder has scored all three of his team's goals in the Champions' Cup and his solitary strike in the second leg of the quarterfinal against CD Motagua of Honduras, after a 0:0 tie in the first leg, was enough to see his side reach the final four. Now just 90 minutes away from a second final in two years and potentially a third Champions Cup title in seven years - they won their first title in 2002 - Pachuca will look to finish the job in front of the passionate Black-and-Red fans of D.C. United.

    In the other semifinal back-to-back MLS Cup Champions Houston Dynamo (USA) travel to the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in San Jose Costa Rica to face three-time Champions Cup' winners Deportivo Saprissa. The first leg played at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas finished goalless so there is all to play for in the return leg. The Dynamo are the only team in the final four who have not won at least one Champions' Cup and in a stadium renowned for the passion and intense support of the home fans they will have their work cut out for them. Saprissa started the 2008 competition in the worst possible way, losing to Atlante CF of Mexico 2:1. But in the return leg in Costa Rica El Monstruo Morado made the most of their home advantage overturning the deficit and running out 3:0 winners and they will be looking for a similar result this time round.

    The semifinal victors will face off in the last ever Champions' Cup final set for 22-24 April and 29 April-1 May. The winner will qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008.

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