After a nine-month hiatus, the Concacaf Champions League returned on Tuesday night with a pair of quarterfinal second legs, however both MLS sides in action saw their dreams of a run towards the final ended.
It was an evening to forget for both the Montreal Impact and New York City FC as both became the first MLS sides in the quarterfinals to suffer elimination. Despite losing the tie overall, Honduran side Olimpia moved past the Impact with the help of their two away goals from the first leg.
Mexican side UANL Tigres faced little trouble getting past NYCFC, rolling to a 4-0 win in Orlando.
Here’s the rundown of Tuesday’s CCL action:
Impact eliminated by Olimpia
Olimpia’s 2-1 first-leg win in Montreal gave the Honduran side a pair of away goals that would eventually win them the tie, despite losing 1-0 on Tuesday night in Florida.
The Impact nearly found the first of the two goals they needed just minutes after the opening whistle when Amar Sejdic found the run of Mason Toye with a perfectly weighted pass. Despite the great run, Toye failed to get a meaningful touch with his header.
Olimpia had their best chance of doubling their aggregate lead in the 14th minute when a poor giveaway from Victor Wanyama sent Marvin Bernárdez alone up the right wing. Bernárdez’s eventual cross found Jerry Bengtson unmarked at the far post, but the forward missed his header despite being six yards from an empty goal.
Montreal broke the deadlock and gained hope of completing a comeback with Amar Sejdic’s 57th-minute strike. The midfielder made Olimpia pay for a poor clearance, slotting home a rebound from just outside of the box.
Sejdic’s goal brought Montreal level on aggregate but Thierry Henry’s side couldn’t find a needed second goal, seeing Olimpia reach the semifinals for the first time in club history.
Tigres trounces NYCFC
A 1-0 win for Tigres back in March meant there was still plenty to play for in the second leg, however injuries and COVID-19 cases left a reduced NYCFC squad with the task of beating one of the best sides in North America.
NYCFC looked to reduce Tigres’ lead from the start and looked dangerous for the opening twenty minutes. The Mexican side drew first blood though after a 30th-minute goal from André-Pierre Gignac against the run of play.
The French striker got his head on the end of a cross from Luis Quiñones, who would complete his hat-trick of assists as Tigres extended their lead. The Columbian had his way with NYCFC defenders, beating them on the dribble before finding Leonardo Fernández and Leonardo Fernández respectively for the team’s second and third goals of the night.
Goalkeeper Luis Barraza watched a fourth go by in his professional debut before NYCFC’s first CCL appearance came to a close.
The Concacaf Champions League semifinals conclude on Wednesday with Atlanta United and LAFC the only hopes for MLS remaining.