Champions Cup: América routs Rev while Tigres escape Columbus all even

Two more Liga MX clubs in action tonight: Monterrey at Inter Miami and Pachuca at Herediano

Tigres goalie Carlos Rodríguez had a busy night in Columbus, under constant pressure while turning aside 5 shots. The Liga MX giants battled the Crew to a 1-1 draw in their Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal series.
Tigres goalie Carlos Rodríguez had a busy night in Columbus, under constant pressure while turning aside 5 shots. The Liga MX giants battled the Crew to a 1-1 draw in their Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinal series. / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

América routed host New England 4-0 while Tigres escaped Columbus with a 1-1 draw against the Crew in the first leg of their respective Concacaf Champions Cup quarterfinals series.

The quarterfinals continue tonight with two additional Liga MX teams facing tough road tests. Monterrey faces Lionel Messi and Inter Miami while Pachuca is in Costa Rica to take on Herediano.

In Foxborough, Massachusetts, the reigning Liga MX champion Aguilas put on a passing clinic in the first half before putting it in cruise control the rest of the match, coming away with a 4-0 walkover.

In Columbus, Ohio, the visiting Tigres drew first blood against the run of play, conceded a goal just before the half after a giveaway in their defensive third, and held on so that the series will be decided back home at “El Volcán.” 

Revolution no match for Aguilas

This game was decided before the half-hour mark. By that time, the Liga MX giants had put two behind Earl Edwards and their dominance was unquestioned.

In minute 18, left back Cristian Calderón pressed forward and made a steal, knocking the ball ahead to Alejandro Zendejas, who quickly squared to Álvaro Fidalgo near the half-moon. Fidalgo widened to Javairo Dilrosun in the right channel, the Dutchman cut it inside to Henry Martín who spun and fired a low left-footer that got underneath Edwards.

America’s second goal was all about patience, featuring a 43-pass sequence that culminated in minute 24 with Martín leading Zendejas into the box where the Team USA winger shook off his marker and had time to pick out the far post with a curling shot.

Just past the hour mark, Calderón took advantage of an error by Edwards. Richard Sánchez sent a long dipping cross into the New England area where Edwards was guarding his front post. The ball soared over Martín and his marker, forcing Edwards to short-hop the ball but the beleaguered goalie bundled it on a platter to Calderón who poked it home at the back post.

Subs Diego Valdés and Brian Rodríguez teamed up for América’s fourth. Rodríguez worked the ball ahead from midfield to Valdés who dribbled toward the box as Rodríguez sprinted through the left channel. Valdés hit Rodríguez in stride and the 23-year-old Uruguayan blasted a shot past Edwards.

Goalie Luis Malagón made two big saves late to keep New England off the board, his third clean sheet in this year’s CCC.

The return leg is set for Estadio Azteca on Tuesday, April 9.

Crew comes up wanting

After a well-played game that lacked refined finishing on the part of his team, Wilfried Nancy, manager of the defending MLS Cup champions Columbus, faced questions about the absence of the Crew’s top scorer, “Cucho” Hernández

Even without their star forward, Columbus was playing downhill most of the first half. The Crew found space between lines and the Tigres’ usually disciplined defense obliged by straying out of position all too frequently.

Still, the Liga MX visitors got on the board first when Diego Lainez shook free on the right side, cut toward the box and chipped a cross that found André-Pierre Gignac free at the penalty spot. The Frenchman cushioned a glancing header inside the far post and Tigres was up 1-0.

The Crew continued to press forward and finally broke through in minute 43 when Tigres defender Samir Caetano unwisely tried to pass to a teammate under pressure from Aidan Morris. Morris poked the ball free to Diego Rossi and the Crew captain punished Tigres with a cool finish.

Columbus had the better opportunities in the second half but Tigres played tighter defense while also relying on tactical fouls.

The final 13 minutes found Columbus playing with 10 men after Morris was shown two quick yellow cards, the first in minute 75 for dissent and the second in minute 77 for chopping down Fernando Gorriarán.

Despite the disadvantage, the Crew nearly came up with the winner in the dying moments.

The two sides will settle the series in Mexico on Tuesday, April 9. The CCC does utilize the away-goals rule so Tigres advance with a scoreless draw or a victory. Columbus will each the quarterfinals with a win or any draw at 2 goals or more. A 1-1 result will produce overtime and then a penalty shoot-out, if necessary.

Two more Liga MX teams in action tonight

Monterrey is preparing to face Lionel Messi tonight in Miami after the Argentine star took part in a full training session for the first time since coming off injured during a March 13 Concacaf Champions Cup match against Nashville.

The Rayados are coming off a disappointing home loss against Guadalajara — their first loss of the Liga MX season — while Inter Miami have gone 1-1-1 without Messi.


The fourth quarterfinal series features a youthful Pachuca side against a Herediano squad that is leading the Costa Rican league with a 10-1-3 record. Pachuca arrives to the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero on a three-game losing streak that has seen the Tuzos tumble to sixth in the Liga MX table.