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Crew downs Monterrey to reach CONCACAF Champions Cup Final

The reigning MLS Cup champions are headed to the CONCACAF Champions Cup Final.

Wilfried Nancy’s Columbus Crew squad clinched a spot in June’s final after defeating Liga MX heavyweights Monterrey 3-1 in second leg semifinal action Wednesday night. The Crew advanced 5-2 on aggregate, clinching their spot against Pachuca in the tournament final later this year.

The winner will advance to the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup, which will be hosted on U.S. soil.

“The team showed great resilience, coming from a goal down,” Crew midfielder Aidan Morris told reporters postmatch. “It was awesome. I mean, such an amazing stadium, the fans are unbelievable. It was cool, it was an amazing experience.

“I’m excited to come back,” he added. “Playing in these stadiums is super cool. I enjoy coming down here, the fans are so energetic, so lively. So I’m ready to come down here. One more game to go.”

Monterrey struck first in the 11th minute through a Evgen Cheberko own goal but the Crew would come roaring back before and after halftime.

Aidan Morris’ equalizer in first-half stoppage time tied the match for Columbus at 1-1. It marked Morris’ first goal in all competitions since April 6 as the American midfielder stole possession before drilling a right-footed shot home.

Substitute attacker Alexandru Matan came on at halftime and played a vital role in the Crew seeing out the result. His through-ball pass to Diego Rossi in the 49th minute was slotted away by the Uruguyan for a 2-1 Crew advantage.

Fellow substitute Jacen Russell-Rowe sealed the victory for Columbus in the 89th minute, being played forward by Matan before drilling a low shot into the bottom-left corner. It marked Russell-Rowe’s second goal of the semifinal series and his fourth of the season across all competitions.

After defeating both Tigres and Monterrey, the Crew will be full of confidence heading into June 2nd’s final at Estadio Hidalgo. Pachuca will host the final after they had an overall better performance in the previous rounds of the competition.

“I haven’t thought about it, really. I’m just soaking all this in,” veteran Crew midfielder Darlington Nagbe said about the upcoming final. “Soaking in the game, thinking about everything that happened during this game, all the moments that we had that we pulled together and were able to come through with the win. So it’ll be a tough challenge against another tough team, another good team. But we have a lot of confidence.”

Both teams will resume their league schedules this weekend with Columbus hosting rivals FC Cincinnati on Saturday while Pachuca takes on Pumas in the Liga MX Clausura Play-In Round.


    • This team just believes. They were down several times last year in the playoffs and came back. They came back at Tigres. They are just not going to fear anything.

  1. So stupid. This final should be at a neutral ground if you are going to play just one game.

    I also think MLS needs to go back to a neutral stadium for the final.

      • Why Europe! They could play it in South America, that’d be neutral too but more importantly less travel!

      • True I suppose just mean even in Columbus it might be a pro Pachuca crowd. Leagues Cup vs Club America last year was certainly full of CA fans.

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