CCL Rewind: Club America eliminates Timbers in quarterfinals

CCL Rewind: Club America eliminates Timbers in quarterfinals

CONCACAF Champions League

CCL Rewind: Club America eliminates Timbers in quarterfinals

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The Portland Timbers saw their Concacaf Champions League run end at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday night, after a 3-1 loss to Club America.

A Diego Valeri penalty kick in the 65th minute made the score 2-1, and gave the Timbers hope of snatching a surprise series win on away goals, but that hope lasted just five minutes before a Leo Suarez finish in the 70th minute effectively put the series out of reach.

Club America seized early control on the night when Federico Vinas headed home a 21st minute goal, elevating to meet a cross from Mauro Lainez after out-jumping the Timbers defense.

The Timbers were still just one goal away from tying the overall series, but Club America pulled ahead on a Vinas penalty kick following a questionable penalty call issued in the 55th minute. Timbers fullback Claudio Bravo was whistled for a foul on Suarez, though replays appeared to show minimal contact. A VAR review of the call upheld the initial decision, leading to Vinas converting the penalty for his second goal of the night.

Valeri’s subsequent penalty kick, which came on a soft call for a foul against Timbers striker Felipe Mora, gave the visitors some hope in Mexico City, but that hope didn’t last very long.

Suarez ended Portland’s hopes in the 70th minute when he dribbled free at the top of the penalty arc and unleashed a left-footed shot that took a deflection before beating Jeff Attinella to the far post, making the score 3-1 on the night, and 5-3 on the series for Club America, which has advanced to the semifinals, where Las Aguilas will face off against the Philadelphia Union.

The CCL final four is set, with three Mexican clubs (Club America, Monterrey and Cruz Azul) and the Philadelphia Union as the lone remaining MLS participant.

The CCL semifinals will begin in late summer, with the first legs set for August, and second legs to be played in September.

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