• Monday Mar 24, 2014

    North America Recap: March 24, 2014

    Club Tijuana's Fernando Arce (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Puebla in Liga MX on March 21, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)

    Club Tijuana followed up an emotional CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) triumph against the LA Galaxy with a comprehensive win over Puebla in Liga MX.  CONCACAF.com recaps the weekend’s domestic action from the Mexico’s CCL semifinalists as well as the Major League Soccer teams that qualified for the 2014-15 version of the competition.

    LIGA MX

    (2013-14 CCL semifinalists in BOLD)

    At the Estadio Caliente, where it is unbeaten in 15 of its last 16 Liga MX games, Club Tijuana (17 points) defeated 10-man Puebla (10 points), 3-1.  Dario Benedetto headed in a cross from Fidel Martinez to give Xolos a 1-0 lead in the second minute.  As the midway point of the second half approached, Martinez doubled the advantage with his second goal of the season. 

    Five minutes after the visitor’s Maicon Santos halved the deficit with an 84th minute goal, Francisco Torres was sent off for a second bookable offense.  Fernando Arce secured three points for Tijuana with an insurance goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

    Despite a 0-0 draw with 10-man Leon (15 points), host Cruz Azul (29 points) remained atop the Liga MX after 12 rounds.  Leon’s Rafael Marquez was sent off in the last minute after picking up his second yellow card.

    Second-place Toluca (25 points) was unable to gain ground, falling 2-1 at Atlante (18 points).  After losing only once in the opening eight games, the Red Devils have dropped two of their last four decisions.

    Roberto Gutierrez (32’) put the host in front and Michael Arroyo (54’) made it 2-0 from the penalty spot.  Juan Salgueiro pulled Toluca within a goal in the second minute of stoppage time, but that’s as close as it would get.

    Weekend Notes

    - Juan Pablo Rodriguez scored two goals, including a penalty kick, as Santos (17 points) played to a 2-2 draw at Morelia (16 points). 

    MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

    (2014-15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)

    With no MLS teams remaining in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League, the North America Recap shifts its focus in the direction of the league’s qualifiers for the 2014-15 edition.

    In an encounter between two teams looking to put the disappointment of being eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League behind them, Sporting Kansas City (4 points) beat the visiting San Jose Earthquakes (1 point), 1-0.

    Dom Dwyer broke the stalemate with a 57th minute penalty kick after Steven Lenhart was ruled to have handled the ball in the 18-yard box.  It was MLS Cup champion’s first domestic win of the new season.

    The New York Red Bulls (2 points) remain winless after playing to a second consecutive 1-1 draw, sharing the points with the host Chicago Fire (2 points). 

    Jeff Larentowicz put Chicago in front on six minutes, heading Harry Shipp’s corner into the top-right corner of the net.  Dax McCarty equalized 15 minutes later a chip following a scramble in the box.

    D.C. United (0 points) suffered a second consecutive loss, falling on the road to Toronto FC (6 points), 1-0.  After striking for a brace in a 2-1 win in Seattle last week, Jermaine Defoe scored the lone goal in his home debut.  The England international knocked in the rebound of a Gilberto shot on the hour mark.

    Jamaica international Deshorn Brown (75’) scored an insurance in the Colorado Rapids’ (4 points) 2-0 win over the Portland Timbers (2 points). 

    Weekend Notes

    - Bernardo Añor netted twice as the Columbus Crew (6 points) remained perfect after a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union.

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