Leon (left) celebrates after scoring in its 2-1 Liga MX Clausura win over host Club Tijuana on April 25, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)
Defending champion Leon claimed the last Liga MX playoff berth, while surging D.C. United stayed red hot in Major League Soccer. CONCACAF.com recaps the weekend’s domestic action from the Liga MX and Major League Soccer teams in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL).
(2013-14 CCL semifinalists in BOLD)
On Friday, Nelson Sebastian Maz (15’) and Luis Montes (65’) scored one goal each as Leon (23 points) defeated host Club Tijuana (24 points), 2-1, at the Estadio Caliente. The result saw both teams qualify for the 2014 Clausura playoffs. Cristian Pellerano tried to rally the Xolos, halving the deficit with an effort that was inadvertently directed by Nacho Gonzalez into his own net.
Visiting Club America (25 points) rallied for a 1-1 draw with 2013-14 CCL runner-up Toluca (32 points) on Sunday at the Estadio Nemesio Diez. Raul Nava (8’), who finished as the CCL’s leading scorer with seven goals, gave the Red Devils an early lead, before Andres Rios (77’) leveled in the latter stages of the second half.
- Fresh off winning the CCL title, first-place Cruz Azul (36 points) celebrated in front of its fans with a 2-1 win over Pumas (25 points) on Saturday. Roberto Ramirez (73’) put the visitors ahead, but Rogelio Chavez (80’) and Mauro Formica (82’) netted to ensure a dramatic victory.
QUARTERFINAL PLAYOFF PAIRINGS (April 30 – May 4, 2014)
(1) Cruz Azul v (8) Leon; (2) Toluca v (7) Club Tijuana; (3) Pumas v (6) Pachuca; (4) Santos v (5) Club America
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
(2014-15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)
D.C. United (11 points) extended its unbeaten streak to five games, topping nine-man FC Dallas (16 points), 4-1, on Saturday at RFK Stadium. Mauro Diaz (13’) gave the visitors a lead, but Fabian Espindola (45’) equalized just before the break with the first of his two goals. Bobby Boswell (60’), Sean Franklin (64’) and Espindola (69’) struck in the second half to put the game away.
Also on Saturday, the New York Red Bulls (11 points) followed a 4-0 midweek win over the Houston Dynamo with a 1-1 draw at the Columbus Crew (12 points). Three days after striking for a hat-trick against the Dynamo, Bradley Wright-Phillips (66’) netted the tying goal after Costa Rica international Jairo Arrieta put the host in front.
The Portland Timbers (5 points) join the Chicago Fire as the only two teams without a win after playing the Houston Dynamo (8 points) to a 1-1 draw Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Gaston Fernandez (33’) leveled the match for the visiting Timbers after Will Bruin (16’) put the host ahead.
Teal Bunbury and Lee Nguyen struck for second-half stoppage time goals to lift the host New England Revolution (11 points) to a 2-0 win over 10-man Sporting Kansas City (11 points) on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. Sporting defender Aurelien Collin was sent off with a straight red card in the 74th minute.
- Clint Dempsey remains on fire, scoring a brace to lift the Seattle Sounders FC to a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. The United States international has league-leading eight goals, seven coming during the Sounders’ current four-match unbeaten streak.