CONCACAF Champions League

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CCL wrap: Chivas too much for Seattle; Club America cruises

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Club America and Chivas Guadalajara joined Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals with wins on Wednesday evening.

[ MORE: Barca-Chelsea recap | Quarterfinal field set ]

Chivas’ win means MLS misses out on a chance to guarantee a finalist in the race for a Club World Cup bid.  The semifinal first legs will be held April 3-5, with the second legs April 10-12.

Tauro 1-3 (1-7 agg.) Club America

Tauro will be pleased to not see Henry Martin any time soon, as he bagged a pair of goals to go with his goal and two assists in the first leg. Mexican 22-year-old Alejandro Díaz Liceága also scored in the leg, and Club America set up a massive pair of dates with Toronto FC.

Chivas Guadalajara 3-0 (3-1 agg.) Seattle Sounders

A pair of first half injuries put the Seattle Sounders’ backs against the proverbial wall in a 3-0 loss to Chivas at the Estadio Akron.

Already down Nicolas Lodeiro, Seattle was forced into using a substitute before the 10-minute mark when Will Bruin suffered an injury. Lamar Neagle took his place. Then Chad Marshall went down, moving Kim Kee-Hee into the match in the 35th.

Down two goals after Oswaldo Alanís and Javier Lopez scored five minutes apart early in the second half, Seattle knew an away goal would be enough to push it into the semifinal.

The Chivas pressure was relentless as the second half wore on, and Stefan Frei was called upon to make a number of saves. But the hosts put it to bed with 10 minutes to play with a slick sweep of the trailing leg of Jesus Godinez.

Giovinco free kick highlights Toronto’s CCL semi-clinching draw (video)

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Sebastian Giovinco forced an own goal and netted a free kick as Toronto FC advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals despite a 3-2 second leg loss to UANL Tigres on Tuesday in Mexico.

Tigres scored a penalty in stoppage time, but the pair of away goals pushed TFC through on a 4-4 aggregate score line.

TFC will play Club America unless Tauro makes amends for a 4-0 deficit after one leg come Wednesday evening.

André-Pierre Gignac scored twice, one the penalty, and Eduardo Vargas also scored for Tigres.

[ MORE: Red Bulls advance past Xolos ]

The heady times started early for Toronto FC, which needed big plays from defender Chris Mavinga and goalkeeper Alex Bono in the first half.

Life got a lot harder for Tigres when Sebastian Giovinco forced an own goal in the 64th minute, though Vargas scored his second goal of the tie to give the hosts hope.

But that so-and-so Giovinco did what he does with his 73rd minute free throw free kick to lift TFC to a two-goal lead with a pair of away goals.

Gignac leveled the tie in the 84th, and then converted a penalty off a Gregory van der Wiel handball in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late for the Liga MX side.

RBNY rolls past Tijuana to CONCACAF Champions League semis

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The New York Red Bulls are one round from their first CONCACAF Champions League final.

Tyler Adams scored and the Red Bulls made their big Mexican win hold up in a 3-1 win (5-1 aggregate) over Liga MX’s Club Tijuana at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on Tuesday.

Marc Rzatkowski and Kaku scored the Red Bulls’ other goals, with Bradley Wright-Phillips playing a role in all three goals.

The Red Bulls will face either Seattle Sounders or Chivas Guadalajara in the semis, with Seattle holding a 1-0 lead ahead of Wednesday’s second leg at Estadio Chivas.

The semifinals legs are April 3-5 and 10-12.

[ MORE: Fulham’s American teen to New England? ]

Xolos struck quickly, with American winger Rubio Rubin crossing from the left for Luis Mendoza to tap into the goal.

It was the 22-year-old Rubin’s first assist since transferring to the Mexican club following time at Stabaek, Silkeborg, and Utrecht.

The hosts were not moved, with Bradley Wright-Phillips starting a play.

Adams restored the two-goal aggregate advantage in the 28th minute when he met Michael Murillo’s cross and was ruled onside.

BWP and Murillo would switch roles in setting up Rzatkowski’s 70th minute goal, and RBNY was home free.

Seattle 1-0 Chivas: Dempsey gives Sounders advantage

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A Clint Dempsey second half goal gave the Seattle Sounders a one-goal advantage over Chivas de Guadalajara as the sides head into next week’s CONCACAF Champions League second leg in Mexico.

In the 78th minute, Henry Wingo was played into space down the right wing, and the local product centered the ball to the oncoming Dempsey, who timed his run perfectly and slotted home past Chivas goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota.

[MORE: TFC comes back to top Tigres in CCL action]

Chivas had chances to score throughout the match but Stefan Frei and the Sounders backline – which had a healthy Chad Marshall back in the lineup – shut the door on the Mexican side.

After a weekend in which few U.S. Men’s National Team-eligible players featured across MLS starting lineups, the Sounders sent out six American starters and brought three more off the bench.

18-year-old sensation Handwalla Bwana, a Homegrown signing like Wingo, made his first Sounders start and caused the Chivas defense a lot of problems with his speed and dribbling ability.

Toronto FC 2-1 Tigres: Reds punch back

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Jonathan Osorio and Jozy Altidore scored second half goals as Toronto FC came back to top UANL Tigres 2-1 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal at BMO Field on Wednesday.

Eduardo Vargas gave UANL Tigres a 1-0 lead, but the Liga MX side was behind the 8-ball the rest of the night.

The second leg is at 11 p.m. ET Tuesday at the Estadio Universitario.

[ MORE: USWNT wins SheBelieves Cup ]

Chances were at a premium in the first half, and the match deservedly went to halftime at nil-nil.

Tigres swapped Enner Valencia for Andre-Pierre Gignac at hafltime, giving the Reds a tactical challenge in adjusting to two very different strikers.

A moment after Jozy Altidore was stymied by Jose Francisco Torres, the big TFC striker was livid with the referee’s decision to not award him a 49th minute penalty.

Vargas beat Alex Bono in the 53rd minute, the Chilean scoring in yet another big spot.

TFC should’ve been level two minutes later, but Osorio opted for using the outside of his right foot over the natural path of Altidore’s cross to his left. The shot zipped over the goal.

Giovinco won a free kick dribbling through traffic in the 57th minute, but couldn’t get his shot to dip under the bar.

Altidore put the Reds ahead when Marky Delgado one-touched the big striker in on goal, and Altidore slid the ball home to make it 1-1.

Gignac then nearly beat Bono with a similar volley to Vargas’ goal, but the ball bounded wide of the far post.

The tide had swung in Toronto’s favor, and Giovinco won another free kick — perhaps with embellishment — near the chalk of the 18. The wall served its purpose.

Michael Bradley was at his very best in producing what could’ve easily been a go-ahead goal, swooping in front of a Tigres pass and then making a nifty 1v1 move before delivering a world-class cross that Altidore bungled on the six.

Osorio got the winner in the 89th minute, backheeling Giovinco’s cross into the Tigres goal.

Chris Mavinga made an outstanding challenge to stop Ismael Sosa late.

Here’s the winner: