In response to the growing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Concacaf has suspended the 2020 Champions League with immediate effect. The tournament is in the quarterfinal round and LAFC was set to host Cruz Azul tonight; that match, as well as the remainder of the competition, will now be rescheduled for a later date.
In a press release, Concacaf stated, “Given the developments last night, including new guidance issued by countries, cities, and states, we have made the decision to suspend the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League with immediate effect.”
The Champions League joins a growing list of suspended, postponed, and canceled sporting events; Major League Soccer, which has four teams in the CCL quarterfinals, has suspended the season for 30 days, while other U.S. leagues have outright canceled the remainder of their season.
Monterrey won their fourth CONCACAF Champions League title with a 2-1 aggregate victory over rivals Tigres UANL. The result keeps the Rayados perfect in CCL finals – four appearances, four victories – while the universitarios are still awaiting their first regional championship.
Monterrey went into Wednesday night’s second leg with a 1-0 lead from the first leg; they added to that advantage in the 25th minute. The hosts were awarded a penalty after Rodolfo Pizarro was brought down in the box, and Nicolás Sánchez converted the spot kick to make it 1-0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate.
The 2019 CONCACAF champion will be determined this Wednesday when rivals Monterrey and Tigres UANL face off in the decisive second leg of the final.
The Rayados picked up a 0-1 away victory in the first leg and are looking to continue their perfect record in CONCACAF finals; Monterrey has reached the final three times, and won it each time, in 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13. The universitarios, meanwhile, have twice reached the final, but have never won, finishing runner-up in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
In the first leg of the Clásico Regio CONCACAF Champions League final, Monterrey took the lead in the series with a narrow 0-1 away win against Tigres UANL.
Tigres’ home-field advantage proved somewhat lacking in the first half; despite the vociferous crowd in El Volcán, the visitors dominated play. Nahuel Guzmán was repeatedly called into action to deny Monterrey the opening goal, as he made saves against Rogelio Funes Mori, Dorlan Pabón, and Rofoldo Pizarro.
Sporting Kansas City scored early but couldn’t stop Monterrey’s high-powered attack; the Rayados picked up a 5-2 away victory tonight to easily win this semifinal series with a 10-2 aggregate score.
The hosts, the only non-Mexican team to make it to this round of the tournament, had no realistic chance of overcoming a 5-0 first leg deficit, but they came out attacking as they looked to salvage some dignity. Gerso gave them an early lead – and some fleeting hope – with his 6th minute goal to make it 1-0 (1-5).
Santos Laguna came back from two goals down to beat Tigres UANL 3-2 on the night, but they couldn’t do enough to erase the first-leg deficit, ultimately falling to Tigres 5-3 on aggregate.
All the pressure was on the hosts in this one, who needed an early goal to give them hopes of a comeback attempt. Instead, it was the visitors who struck first, with Enner Valencia making it 0-1 (0-4 aggregate) just 11 minutes into the match as he rounded the keeper and sent the ball into the empty net.
The 2019 CONCACAF Champions League continues this week with the second legs of the semifinal round, and both games are looking somewhat academic after lopsided victories in the first legs.
First Leg Results
Tigres UANL 3-0 Santos Laguna
Monterrey 5-0 Sporting Kansas City
The semifinals are a total goals, aggregate score series; away goals are tiebreakers. If both the aggregate and away goals are tied at the end of the second leg, the winner will be determined by a penalty shootout.
Will there be a Clásico Regio in the CONCACAF final, or can Santos and/or Kansas City pull off a comeback for the ages?
Monterrey’s spot in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League final looks assured after they picked up a 5-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of their semifinal series.
The visitors started the game off with an attacking posture, but it didn’t take long for the hosts to take control. In the 7th minute, Dorlan Pabón received the ball in the box and sent his diagonal shot past the keeper to make it 1-0 for Monterrey.
Tigres UANL took a commanding lead in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series with a 3-0 victory against Santos Laguna.
Tigres got the scoring going early, with Eduardo Vargas making it 1-0 in just the 8th minute. Hugo Ayala played in Julián Quiñones with a long ball; the Colombian’s original shot was stopped by Jonathan Orozco, but the rebound fell to Vargas, who put it away.