Tijuana scored early but couldn’t hold the lead as they fell 3-1 to the New York Red Bulls on the night – 5-1 on aggregate – to bow out of the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. The Xolos are the first Mexican team to be eliminated by an MLS side in a Champions League knockout series.
The visitors needed to overturn a 0-2 first-leg deficit and they came out attacking. Tijuana very nearly took the lead in the first few minutes when a shot by Luis Mendoza took a deflection and crashed against the crossbar.
Minutes later, New York was also denied by the woodwork as Daniel Royer hit the crossbar with his volley.
Then, in the 10th minute, Tijuana got on the scoreboard. Rubio Rubin brought the ball down in the box and played it across the top of the six-yard box, where Mendoza finished it off to make it 0-1 (2-1).
New York restored their two-goal aggregate lead in the 28th minute, however, when good team play on the counterattack ended with Tyler Adams finishing the ball off at the far post to make it 1-1 (3-1).
The hosts added to their advantage in the second half, when Michael Murillo and Bradley Wright-Phillips combined again before the Englishman found substitute Mark Rzatkowski, who made it 2-1 (4-1) in the 70th minute.
Alejandro Romero Gamarra then put the series completely out of reach for Tijuana in the 76th minute, with Wright-Phillips assisting “Kaku” to make it 3-1 (5-1).
With the 3-1 (5-1) win, the Red Bulls advance to the semifinals while Tijuana is eliminated.
New York: Luis Robles, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Aurélien Collin, Tyler Adams, Florian Valot, Kemar Lawrence, Michael Murillo, Alex Muyl (Marc Rzatkowski 45′), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Carlos Rivas 79′), Daniel Royer (Alejandro Romero Gamarra 63′).
Tijuana: Manuel Gibrán Lajud, Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Hiram Muñoz 43′), Pablo Aguilar, Damián Pérez, Omar Mendoza, Miler Bolaños, Damián Musto, Ignacio Rivero (Juan Lucero 61′), José García, Rubio Rubin (Víctor Malcorra 64′), Luis Mendoza.