• Monday Mar 31, 2014

    North America Recap: March 31, 2014

    Toluca (pictured) celebrates after defeating Tigres, 2-1, in Liga MX play on March 29, 2014. (Photo: Mexsport)

    Toluca inched closer to league-leading Cruz Azul in Liga MX, while Dom Dwyer’s stoppage time winner lifted Sporting Kansas City over the Colorado Rapids in Major League Soccer.  

    CONCACAF.com recaps the weekend’s domestic action from the Mexican semifinalists in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) as well as the Major League Soccer teams in the 2014-15 competition.



    (2013-14 CCL semifinalists in BOLD)

    Raul Nava’s goal in the second minute of stoppage time lifted Toluca (28 points) to a 2-1 win over visiting Tigres, moving the Red Devils within one point of league-leading Cruz Azul.

    Pablo Velazquez (11’) gave the host an early lead, but Jose Francisco Torres (50’) equalized with a stunning strike early in the second half.  Nava – the 2013-14 CCL’s leading scorer with seven goals -- tapped in the winner with his second goal of the campaign, securing all three points for the ten-time Mexican champion.

    Cruz Azul (29 points) suffered its first home defeat of the Clausura, dropping a 3-1 decision to Atlas (17 points).

    Martin Barragan (3’) struck from the top of the 18-yard box to give the visitors a 1-0 lead, but Marco Fabian (14’) leveled on a second header at the far post off a corner kick. 

    Atlas went on to score two unanswered goal to seal the victory.  Maikon Fernando Souza Leite (32’) was slipped behind the Cruz Azul defense and put a low shot off goalkeeper Jose Corona and then Barragan (44’) netted his second of the game for eighth-place Atlas.

    Ricardo Jesus Da Silva netted a first-half brace to lift Queretaro (16 points) to a 2-1 win over Club Tijuana (17 points) on Friday at La Corregidora. 

    The 28-year-old Brazilian, who now has four goals in seven games, struck from distance to put the host in front in the 14th minute and tapped in what proved to be the winner ten minutes before the break.  In between, Argentine Dario Benedetto briefly knotted the score just before 30 minutes had passed.


    - Luis Gabriel Rey struck for a brace in the opening 15 minutes to spark Club America (20 points) to a 4-0 win of rival Guadalajara (17 points) in the Clásico Nacional.



    (2014-15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)

    Dom Dwyer scored the winner for a second consecutive week, lifting Sporting Kansas City (7 points) to a 3-2 win over 10-man Colorado Rapids (4 points) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

    After a scoreless first half, Graham Zusi put Sporting ahead in the 50th minute, tapping in a Sal Zizzo cross at the far post.  Vicente Sanchez (60’, 78’) scored from the penalty spot twice in 18 minutes to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.  Benny Feilhaber, however, equalized in the 79th minute and then set up Dwyer’s dramatics two minutes into stoppage time. 

    Still winless on the season, the New York Red Bulls (3 points) needed a goal five minutes into second-half stoppage time by Pegguy Luyindula to secure a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA (5 points). 

    The French forward headed in Eric Alexander’s corner kick after Erick Torres (25’) struck from the penalty spot for the visitors.

    D.C. United (1 point) is still in search of its first win, but did earn its first point of the season in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire (3 points).

    Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (27’) put the Fire ahead only for Fabian Espindola (35’) to equalize quickly.  D.C. took the lead through Perry Kitchen (73’), but Quincy Amarikwa (82’) -- who has three career CCL goals -- made sure the visitors shared the points.

    The Portland Timbers (2 points) remained winless after four matches, losing 2-1 at FC Dallas (10 points).  Panama international Blas Perez (45’+3) gave the host a 1-0 lead late in the first half, but a 66th minute own-goal by Matt Hedges leveled the score.  Mauro Diaz (84’) struck late to give the Western Conference leader all the points.

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