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CCL Rewind: LAFC, Club Leon advance to semifinals


Los Angeles FC and Club Leon became the first two teams to punch their tickets into the Concacaf Champions League semifinals on Tuesday night.

Defending MLS Cup winners LAFC breezed past the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 at BMO Stadium on Tuesday, advancing on a 6-0 aggregate. Carlos Vela scored twice in the first half for Steve Cherundolo’s squad while Jose Cifuentes also added one goal himself in the shutout second leg victory.

Denis Bouanga was hauled down in the box by Whitecaps fullback Ryan Raposo, giving LAFC an early goalscoring opportunity after only eight minutes. Vela stepped up and scored into the top-right corner for a 1-0 LAFC lead.

Vela doubled his tally in the 31st minute after Ilie Sanchez’s through ball assist was slotted home by the Mexican international.

LAFC padded its lead in the 65th minute with Cifuentes letting rip from outside of the box before celebrating his first goal of the season. Bouanga passed to Cifuentes before the Ecuadoran international delivered a long-range missile into the bottom-left corner.

John McCarthy finished the match with a six-save clean sheet, continuing his impressive run in goal.

LAFC will meet either the Philadelphia Union or Atlas in the semifinal round.

Violette AC 2, Club Leon 1 (Club Leon advances 6-2 on aggregate)

Haitian side Violette AC did its best to force a comeback against Liga MX visitors Club Leon, but the mountain proved to be steep for the hosts.

Miche-Haider Chery scored twice in the first half as Violette captured a 2-1 second leg win in the Dominican Republic. However, Club Leon’s dominant 5-0 first leg victory gave the Mexican club a lofty advantage heading into the match.

Chery’s opening goal came in the 15th minute as the forward headed in Roberto Louima’s header for a 1-0 advantage. The 25-year-old added his second tally of the match in the 26th minute as this time he sent a powerful header from a Steeven Saba cross down the middle of the Club Leon net.

Brian Rubio pulled one goal back for the Liga MX visitors in the 30th minute, cutting the deficit to 2-1 on the night. However, Club Leon was kept at bay for majority of the match as Violette goalkeeper Paul Decius finished with six saves under his belt.

Club Leon advances to the final four and will face either Tigres or Motagua in the semifinal round.

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