European Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Pachuca wins CCL, Inter topples Barcelona and more

PachucaCCL (Reuters) 

Pachuca looked poised for defeat as the final seconds ticked off the clock on Wednesday night, their hopes of another CONCACAF Champions League title fading with each passing moment.

That was before Edgar Benitez scored a dream goal in the 93rd minute to give Pachuca a 1-0 second-leg victory and Champions League final victory on away goals against Cruz Azul. The victory booked Pachuca's return to the FIFA Club World Cup.

U.S. national team midfielder Jose Francisco Torres started and played 80 minutes for Pachuca, and will now take part in the second Club World Cup of his young career (assuming he isn't sold between now and December).

If you missed the championship-winning goal, here it is:

Here are some other stories to get your Thursday going:


Inter Milan played a beautiful Champions League semifinal first leg against Barcelona, winning 3-1 at the San Siro, so Jose Mourinho knew he had a safe enough cushion to defend in the second leg. Defend is what Inter did, stifling Barcelona's vaunted attack on its way to a 3-2 aggregate series victory after a slim 1-0 defeat on Thursday.

Barcelona looked poised for the win when Inter midfielder Thiago Motta was issued a red card for a hand to the face of Sergi Busquets, but Inter's defense only grew more resolute, denying Barcelona the type of chances it has grown accustomed to. Barcelona defender Gerard Pique scored a beautiful goal late, but it wasn't enough to erase the two-goal deficit from the first leg.

The victory means Inter Milan will now take on Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid on May 22.


AC Milan manager Leonardo will leave the club after one season in charge, club president Silvio Berlusconi revealed on Thursday.

The former Brazilian national team midfielder endured a tough season at Milan, with the club getting off to an awful start it never quite recovered from. Milan improved as the season went on, but ultimately fell short in its quest to challenge rival Inter Milan for the Serie A title.


What do you think of these stories? Impressed with Torres' performance in a championship match? Still amazed at Inter's ability to shut down Barcelona? Think AC Milan is on the verge of a stretch of prolonged mediocrity?

Share your thoughts below.

  • DaveW

    In a very unscientific survey of a few newspaper sites around the region(from lanic.utexas.edu), neither Costa Rican site mentioned it, both Honduran sites mentioned it, a Jamaican site, a Trinidadian site and a Salvadoran site didn’t mention it.
    USL seems to me basically a second division team, Pumas played most of it with their 2nd division youth side plus a couple guys who get limited minutes in the senior side, until they decided they might have a chance at it. And their coach cried a bit about having to divert resources from league play to get into and play the semifinals.
    Most of the region doesn’t have the resources to play in the tournament and domestically and it suffers.
    There must be a better way for Concacaf to grow into this kind of competition.


  • Erik

    That’s not every game though. How often does Theo play anyway? Sol has only been back for a couple of months.


  • K Bone

    I agree with all of that. However, like I said, they were lucky to beat United, and if Howard hadn’t gifted them that away goal, who knows where Mourinho’s legacy would be. Good job Howard, making legendary soccer coaches careers start…


  • Dlewis

    I would not have guessed that Barcelona would lose this one. Even when I was watching the game I thought the pressure would have cracked Inter defense which was going deeper and deeper into their own zone as the game went on. That said I think Bayern Munich will win the title because of their strong midfield game and the wing play of Robben and Ribery. It will also be good for Bayer Munich because it’s just a nice upset story.


  • Jigga

    Timbers fans have been supporting their team passionately for years in the second division. I already love them.


  • madmax

    Gringo Torres played higher than usual. He looked a little unsure in the attacking end which would be normal, but was still very solid.


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