Alianza

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CCL wrap: Stoppage-time GK goal saves Tigres; Henry’s Montreal grinds it out

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Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League nearly featured an upset for the ages.

It will have to be content with a finish for all time.

El Salvador’s Alianza came back from a 4-2 aggregate deficit to nearly knock UANL Tigres out of the CCL, but Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman provided a stoppage time goal to eliminate the upstarts.

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Tigres will now meet Ronny Delia’s New York City FC, who had little trouble holding up its first-leg lead over San Carlos.

Thierry Henry’s Montreal had to sweat out a scoreless draw with Saprissa, but rode its two away goals to a date with either Seattle or Olimpia.

Guatemala’s Comunicaciones and Club America are the final match of Wednesday, kicking off at 10 a.m. ET.

UANL Tigres 4-2 (5-4 agg.) Alianza

What a match. Down 2-1 after one leg, Tigres scored thrice in the first 23 minutes. Ex-West Ham man Enner Valencia struck first before Andre-Pierre Gignac score in the 17th and 23rd.

But Juan Carlos Portillo scored twice in nine minutes before halftime to put the away goals advantage in the Salvadorans’ corner.

Tigres out-attempted Alianza 19-6 but couldn’t get it done, and my goodness did it need shot No. 19 from its Argentine international backstop.

Great header for a goalie.

Montreal Impact 0-0 (2-2 agg.) Deportivo Saprissa

This was a dreadful match, but it won’t bother Titi too much; Henry’s men had just 31 percent of the ball and nearly scored anyway through Shamit Shome.

The Impact showed a lot of guts and discipline in frustrating the Costa Ricans, who were disappointed when Clement Diop made an incredible save in the 89th minute.

NYCFC 1-0 (6-3 agg.) San Carlos

Alexander Callens scored the lone goal of the contest, the damage done in Costa Rica last week.

Speaking of damage done, Delia had a “Welcome to CONCACAF officiating” moment.

 

CONCACAF Champions League: Red Bulls cruise, Monterrey survives

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
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It’s not a surprise that the New York Red Bulls handled their business in New Jersey considering how well they dealt with Atletico Pantoja in the Caribbean.

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More surprising is what happened in the other Wednesday match of CONCACAF Champions League play, where it took two penalty attempts for a Liga MX side to take care of a

Liga MX side Monterrey was held to a scoreless draw in El Salvador, and needed 86 minutes to find a break through at home to Alianza on Thursday.

The first attempt wasn’t enough, thanks to Alianza goalkeeper Victor Garcia.

That’s when Nicolas Sanchez converted a penalty to set up a meeting with the winner of Herediano and Atlanta United (United trails 3-1 after one leg).

Back to Red Bull Arena, where Sean Davis, Daniel Royer, and Andreas Ivan all scored for New York, who held a 2-0 lead after the first leg at Los Guerreros and cruised to a 5-0 aggregate victory.

The Red Bulls will meet Santos Laguna in the quarterfinals.