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CCL Rewind: Union edge Atlas, Club Leon rolls past Violette


The Philadelphia Union grinded their way to a first leg victory over Liga MX side Atlas on Tuesday night, snapping their three-match winless run in all competitions.

Jim Curtin’s squad used a 89th-minute winning penalty kick from Daniel Gazdag to propel the MLS-based hosts to a 1-0 Concacf Champions League quarterfinal first leg triumph. Andre Blake made two saves to preserve the home shutout.

Gazdag’s breakthrough goal came after Julian Carranza was bundled over in the Atlas box by Brian Lozano. The Hungarian attacker stepped up and drilled a low shot into the bottom-right corner, giving the Union a slight edge heading to Mexico next week.

However, the result did not come easy for the Union, who struggled breaking down 10-men for the entire second half. Anderson Santamaria was sent off before halftime after tugging Gazdag down on a breakaway, condemning Atlas to playing one man short for the remaining 45 minutes.

Mikael Uhre appeared off the bench and rattled the post in the 67th minute before Gazdag missed the ensuring follow-up chance.

Jack McGlynn and Jakob Glesnes were both denied by Atlas goalkeeper Camilo Vargas, but Vargas was eventually beaten from the spot as Atlas fell on the road.

The Union will visit FC Cincinnati in MLS action on Saturday before traveling to Atlas on April 12.

Club Leon 5, Violette AC 0

Liga MX side Club Leon placed one foot into the semifinals after rolling past Haitian visitors Violette AC 5-0 on home soil.

Angel Mena delivered the opening goal for Club Leon before Victor Davila added a second-half brace to lead the way in the second half. Lucas Di Yorio and Elias Hernandez helped pad the lead with two stoppage-time goals of their own.

Mena’s goal came only eight minutes in as the veteran midfielder got on the end of Joel Campbell’s cross and slotted home for a 1-0 lead.

Lucas Romero’s through ball pass led to Club Leon’s second goal of the night as Davila raced in towards goal and drilled a shot into the top-right corner. The substitute added his second goal of the night in the 84th minute after finishing off Mena’s assist for a 3-0 advantage.

Di Yorio and Hernandez both added confident finishes of their own to pad the Club Leon lead and truly dampen the hopes of the Violette players.

Violette returns home for the second leg, but will have a major hill to climb if it wants to stay in the competition.

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