Action from the Liga MX Clausura quarterfinal, second match between Leon (left) and host Cruz Azul on May 3, 2014, in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)
Eighth-seeded Leon stunned Cruz Azul to reach the Liga MX semifinals, while the Portland Timbers defeated D.C. United to pick-up their first win of the Major League Soccer season.
CONCACAF.com recaps the weekend’s domestic action from North America’s 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League qualifiers.
(2014-15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)
Leon’s title defense is still alive after tying host Cruz Azul, 2-2, on Saturday to capture their two-legged Clausura quarterfinal series on away goals after battling to a 3-3 aggregate stalemate.
After a 1-1 draw in the opening leg on Wednesday, the newly crowned CONCACAF Champions League champion went ahead at the Estadio Azul on Saturday thanks to goals by Mariano Pavone (11’) and Mauro Formica (21’). Mauro Boselli pulled Leon within one five minutes before halftime and Luis Montes scored the clinching goal in the 58th minute.
Cruz Azul has not won a Mexican league title since the 1997 Invierno.
Raul Jimenez may have struck for three goals in a 5-3 win in the opener, but Santos eliminated Club America in the quarterfinals on away goals after the teams finished 6-6 on aggregate.
In the second leg, host Santos took a 3-0 lead before Rubens Sambueza struck in the 90th minute to give America some life.
An own-goal by Juan Carlos Valenzuela (27’) put the Guerreros ahead in the first-half. Ribair Rodriguez (83’) and Andres Renteria (87’) followed late in the match to give Santos a three-goal edge until Sambueza made things interesting as time wound down.
- Enner Valencia struck for three goals as Pachuca defeated Pumas UNAM, 4-2, in the second leg of the quarterfinals, advancing to the semifinals 5-3 on aggregate.
- 2013/14 CONCACAF Champions League runner-up Toluca ousted Club Tijuana, 3-1 on aggregate, in the other quarterfinal series. After a scoreless draw in the opening leg, Miguel Ponce broke a 1-1 tie with a goal on the hour mark and Edgar Benitez (89’) added an insurance tally.
SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE (all times local)
Wednesday – May 7, 2014
Pachuca v Santos, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday – May 8, 2014
Leon v Toluca, 8:06 p.m.
Saturday – May 10, 2014
Santos v Pachuca, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Toluca v Leon, 12:00 p.m.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
(2014-15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)
Maximiliano Urruti’s goal four minutes into second-half stoppage time lifted the Portland Timbers (8 points) to a dramatic 3-2 win over D.C. United (11 points), the team’s first victory of the Major League Soccer season on Saturday at Providence Park.
Gaston Fernandez gave Portland the lead in the first minute, but United leveled on a Davy Arnaud goal in the 21st minute. Mamadou Danso (38’) put the Timbers back in front, but the Gambian defender’s own-goal tied the leveled the game at in the 78th minute. Urruti, though, knocked in a rebound of his own attempt to secure three points for the host.
Sporting Kansas City (14 points) moved into a three-way for first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 win over 10-man Columbus Crew on Sunday at Sporting Park. Jacob Peterson (10’) scored early and Claudio Bieler (90’+5) struck late for the host, while goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made four saves to earn the clean sheet.
Bradley Wright-Phillips tapped in a pass from Thierry Henry to lead the New York Red Bulls (14 points) to a 1-0 win over FC Dallas, the team’s first road victory of the season.
Je-Vaughn Watson was sent off with a straight red card for a studs-up challenge against Tim Cahill and the home side was further frustrated when Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles saved a Blas Perez penalty kick just before the hour mark.