The Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake opened their CONCACAF Champions League group stage campaigns in strong fashion on Wednesday with a pair of home victories against Central American competition.
The Crew held off Guatemalan side CD Municipal, 1-0, on the strength of a stingy defensive performance and a 14th-minute goal from Emmanuel Ekpo to win its first match in Group B. Ekpo hadn't scored a goal in more than a year, but the Nigerian midfielder delivered a beautiful solo effort. Here are highlights from the match.
In Utah, Real Salt Lake needed a stoppage time penalty kick from Alvaro Saborio to defeat Panamanian side Arabe Unido, 2-1, in a match marred by time-wasting from the Central Americans. Arabe Unido tried blatant time-wasting tactics to hold on to a draw after going down to ten men following a red card, but a last-second foul in the penalty area on Nelson Gonzalez set up Saborio for his second goal of the night, earning RSL the victory. Here are highlights from the match.
The win puts RSL into a tie atop Group C with Toronto FC, which downed Cruz Azul on Tuesday.
In other CONCACAF Champions League action on Wednesday, Santos Laguna rolled past Joe Public, 5-2, while Salvadoran side CD FAS held Mexican club Toluca to a scoreless draw.
CONCACAF Champions League action resumes on Thursday, with the Seattle Sounders looking to improve Major League Soccer's record to 4-0 in the group stage with a victory against CD Marathon in Honduras.
What did you think of the performances by the Crew and RSL? Did you enjoy seeing Arabe Unido lose after all the time-wasting? Think Seattle can make it 4-0 for MLS?
Share your thoughts below.