• Tuesday Mar 07, 2017

    SCCL 16/17 Diary: Quarterfinals, Second Leg

    Pachuca players (pictured) celebrate after scoring against visiting Saprissa in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions quarterfinals, second leg on February 28, 2017, in Pachuca, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)

    The Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinals are set after four compelling quarterfinal, second-leg matches. Let’s take a look back at the best from last week’s action before the final four begins.

    TOP GAMES

    Pumas 0, Tigres 3: Although Tigres ultimately left the Estadio Olimpico Universitario as a 4-1 aggregate winner, this match was more compelling than the final score indicated.  Pumas held a 12-7 advantage in shots, and the result may have been different had Nicolas Castillo’s chip early in the second half not struck the woodwork. For Tigres, Jurgen Damm’s brace was one of the better performances in SCCL quarterfinal history.

    Arabe Unido 2, FC Dallas 1: After a 4-0 loss in the series opener, Arabe Unido had the slightest of chances to advance and the task was made more difficult when it conceded an early own-goal in the second leg.  The Expreso Azul, though, showed tremendous pride in pulling out a 2-1 victory at home.  FC Dallas still advanced 5-2 on aggregate, but the Panamanian power saved its best for last, with defenders Roberto Chen (90’) and Leslie Heraldez (90’+2) scoring on late headers.  The win was Arabe’s first in six all-time SCCL quarterfinals.

    TOP GOALS

    Jurgen Damm, Tigres (33’ v Pumas): Damm’s best moment of an impressive quarterfinal came just beyond the half-hour mark.  Juninho did a lot of the work, winning the ball back on the flank after a cleared corner, then lofting in a precise cross.  Damm chested it down with his first touch and then hit a volley into the lower corner with his second from 10-yards out.

    Alphonso Davies, Vancouver Whitecaps (5’ v New York Red Bulls): The 16-year-old Davies’ second career SCCL goal owed to some fantastic build-up play on the left.  Brek Shea and Jordan Harvey combined to spring Marcel De Jong.  Davies collected DeJong’s inswinging cross and beat goalkeeper Luis Robles and defender Kamar Lawrence from in close.

    Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Pachuca (31’ v Saprissa): Urretaviscaya scored his third goal of the tournament as Pachuca put on an impressive display in a 4-0 second-leg victory over visiting Saprissa, part of an aggregate win by the same score.  After taking Raul Lopez’s pass, the 26-year-old Uruguayan sliced past Roy Miller and Julio Cascante, before left-footing past goalkeeper Danny Carvajal to the lower-left corner.

    TOP SAVES

    Luis Robles, New York Red Bulls (34’ v Vancouver Whitecaps): Of the five saves Robles made Thursday, his best came in the 34th minute.  Kekuta Manneh’s looping ball freed Marcel De Jong on the wing.  De Jong ripped a half volley, but Robles leaped and got a strong enough hand on it to push it over the crossbar, keeping it 1-0 for the time being.

    David Ousted, Vancouver Whitecaps: (40’ v New York Red Bulls): Ousted denied Bradley Wright-Phillips an equalizer five minutes before halftime that would’ve completely changed the complexion of the quarterfinal.  After a free kick was delivered into the Vancouver box, the ball was deflected towards the net, where Wright-Phillips reacted quickly, but so did Ousted.

    TURNING POINT

    Nicolas Castillo, Pumas: Although he was more unlucky than wasteful, it could’ve been a different quarterfinal entirely had Castillo capitalized on two second-half chances.  With the score still 1-0, he struck the right elbow of the crossbar in the 50th minute with a delicate chip.  Six minutes later, his breakaway was thwarted by Hugo Ayala’s fantastic last-ditch challenge.

    TOP TEAM PERFORMANCE

    Pachuca: Having never previously played a home SCCL match against a Costa Rican side, Pachuca eased to a 4-0 victory in what could’ve been a tricky second leg with Saprissa.  Hirving Lozano’s seventh career SCCL goal moved him within two of the club’s all-time lead, and closed out a night that pushed the Tuzos to their first semifinal since winning the 2009/10 title.

    TOP INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

    Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Pachuca: Urretavsicaya’s contributions in helping Pachuca advance to the semifinals were vital.  He was named SCCL Player of the Week thanks to scoring one goal and assisting on two others as the Tuzos earned a 4-0 win over Sapriss.

    Jurgen Damm, Tigres: After his slaloming run helped set up Eduardo Vargas’ goal in Tigres’ 1-1 draw with Pumas in the first leg, Damm struck the back of the net twice himself in a 3-0 second leg victory.  With three career SCCL goals for Tigres, he’s now one shy of Alan Pulido and current teammate Andre-Pierre Gignac for the club’s all-time lead.

    ONE LAST THING

    Both semifinals in the 2016/17 SCCL will feature a club from Liga MX facing a club from Major League Soccer, the second time that has happened in tournament history.  In the 2012/13 edition, Santos survived the Seattle Sounders and Monterrey defeated the LA Galaxy.  Monterrey then went on to claim its third consecutive SCCL title, overcoming Santos in the final, 4-2 on aggregate.

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