Cruz Azul (pictured) celebrates after scoring in its 2-1 Liga MX win over Club America on April 5, 2014, at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)
In a domestic battle of CONCACAF Champions League semifinalists, Club Tijuana topped Toluca, while D.C. United picked up its first win of the Major League Soccer season. CONCACAF.com recaps the weekend’s domestic action from the Mexican semifinalists in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League as well as the MLS teams in the 2014-15 competition.
(2013-14 CCL semifinalists in BOLD)
After beating Cruz Azul in the opening leg of the CCL semifinals, Club Tijuana (20 points) returned to domestic play with a 3-1 win over defeat visiting Toluca (28 points). Argentine forward Dario Benedetto snuck a header in off Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera in the 27th minute to give the Xolos a 1-0 lead.
Jorge Sartiaguin leveled three minutes later on an error by goalkeeper by Cirlio Saucedo. Javier Guemez (56’) scored what proved to be the winner, before Cristian Pellerano (72’) added an insurance goal from the penalty spot.
Cruz Azul (32 points) extended its lead atop the Clausura to four points over Toluca with a 2-1 win over a Club America (20 points) team that completed the game with nine men at the Estadio Azteca.
Mauro Formica (18’) put the visitors ahead 1-0 and Julio Dominguez doubled the advantage with a glancing header off a free kick two minutes prior to the break.
Raul Jimenez pulled America within a goal four minutes from full time with a sensational side volley off his chest. The hosts were reduced to nine after the ejections of Andres Andrade (74’) and Rubens Sambueza (90’+3) for second bookable offenses.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
(2014-15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)
D.C. United (4 points) snapped a 16-game winless streak in league matches, beating New England Revolution (4 points), 2-0.
The host took a 1-0 lead on an own-goal by defender Jose Goncalves in the 43rd minute and secured three points on a goal by newly acquired Chris Rolfe (90’+3). It was the former Chicago Fire forward’s 49th career MLS regular-season goal.
The Portland Timbers (3 points) appeared on their way to their first win of the MLS season, but United States international Clint Dempsey struck twice in the final five minutes to complete a hat-trick and rally the visiting Seattle Sounders (7 points) to a wild 4-4 draw at Providence Park Saturday.
Seattle raced in front just three minutes into the match on a goal by Kenny Cooper. Two quick replies gave Portland a 2-1 lead on goals by Diego Chara (9’) and Diego Valeri (14’).
Dempsey scored his first goal in the 24th minute and the rivals went into the half level.
Chara netted his second of the afternoon 10 minutes after the break and Maximiliano Urruti (57’) made it 4-2, but Dempsey went back to work, responding with two more goals. His dramatic equalizer completed the scoreline three minutes from full time.
Sporting Kansas City (8 points) finished with 10 men, but played Real Salt Lake (9 points) to a 0-0 draw in a rematch of last year’s MLS Cup final at Sporting Park. Oriol Rosell was sent off with a straight red card in the 83rd minute.
The New York Red Bulls (4 points) continue to search for their first victory of the season, playing the host Impact de Montreal (2 points) to a 2-2 draw at Olympic Stadium.
Jonny Steele (31’) rallied the Red Bulls from an early deficit after Andres Romero (5’) put Montreal ahead. Peguy Luyindula followed in the 34th minute to give New York a 2-1 lead.
The French forward then missed a penalty kick in the 48th minute and Felipe Martins capitalized 11 minutes later with an equalizer for the Impact.