Tigres came out attacking, knowing they needed a win here, and it wasn’t long before they had their first goal. In the 15th minute, the unfortunate Aubrey David badly misjudged a play, with his attempt to head the ball back to the keeper ending in a collision… and with the ball in the back of the net. His own-goal made it 1-0 (1-1 aggregate).
Tigres had chances throughout the game, with their first coming in the 7th minute. Eduardo Vargas played in Enner Valencia, but his shot was blocked by the defense. Vargas then tried his luck with a shot from outside the box that the keeper sent out for a corner kick.
América drew 1-1 with Saprissa in the second leg of their 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Round of Sixteen series, which was more than enough to put the Águilas into the quarterfinals with a 6-2 aggregate win.
The Costa Ricans were facing an uphill battle to get back into this series after a 5-1 loss in the first leg, and América gave them no time to do so: the Águilas opened the second-leg scoring in just the first minute of the game.
Pachuca booked their spot in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals with a 4-0 victory over Saprissa in the second leg of their quarterfinal series. A 0-0 draw in the first leg left everything to play for in this game, and it was the Tuzos who took advantage.
A set piece gave Pachuca the lead in the 28th minute, with Víctor Guzmán appearing unmarked to make it 1-0. Just two minutes later, the Tuzos stunned Saprissa with a second goal, this time due to a bit of individual skill from Jonathan Urretaviscaya.
Despite the ultimate lack of goals, there were chances right from the beginning. In the 2nd minute, the Tuzos had the first opportunity through a quick counterattack, but Erick Aguirre couldn’t finish it off.
Three of Mexico’s four entrants advanced to the quarterfinals, and Liga MX is guaranteed to have at least one semifinalist after Pumas UNAM and Tigres UANL were drawn against each other. The other Mexican representative, Pachuca, will face Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa.
Santos Laguna needed a victory in the final game of Group A play to book their spot in the quarterfinals; they got it in style with a 6-1 thrashing of Saprissa. The loss eliminates the Costa Ricans from this edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.
After a largely even first half, in which Santos took the lead through a Bryan Rabello header in the 38th minute, the game exploded into life in the second half.
Minutes after the interval, Saprissa tied the game through halftime substitute Mynor Escoe, who got in behind the defense and beat Agustín Marchesín in the 48th minute. However, Santos reclaimed the lead just three minutes later.
In the 51st minute, Djaniny Tavares made it 2-1 with a half-volley inside the box, and after that it was all Santos. Djaniny assisted Luis Mendoza for Santos’s third in the 55th minute to give the hosts some breathing room; then, the Laguneros began to run up the score.
In the 67th minute, Carlos Izquierdoz headed home a set piece to make it four; two minutes after that, Diego González snuck the ball past the keeper from an acute angle to give Santos the 5-1 lead.
Then, in the waning moments of the game, Alonso Escoboza added a sixth to complete the thrashing and see Santos into the CCL quarterfinals.
With the 6-1 win, Santos reaches nine points while Saprissa remains on six.
Santos: Agustín Marchesín, José Javier Abella, Néstor Araujo, César Ibáñez, Carlos Izquierdoz, Jesús Molina, Diego González, Bryan Rabello, Luis Mendoza (Javier Orozco 78′), Djaniny Tavares (Alonso Escoboza 74′), Andrés Rentería (Néstor Calderón 45′).
Saprissa: Danny Carvajal, Afoldo Machado, Christian Bolaños, Gabriel Badilla (Ariel Rodríguez 58′), Francisco Calvo, Néstor Monge (Mynor Escoe 45′), Diego Estrada (Ulises Segura 45′), Juan Bustos, Hansell Arauz, David Ramírez, Daniel Colindres.
Group Table – Group A
It’s the final matchday of the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League group stage, and three Liga MX teams are in action. All are in good position to advance, but none are yet mathematically assured of a spot in the next round.
First up on Tuesday night, Santos Laguna will host Saprissa of Costa Rica in Group A play. Both Santos and Saprissa have six points, and the result of this game will determine which team moves on to the knockout rounds. Santos needs a win to advance; a draw would see Saprissa through on tiebreakers, as they won the previous meeting between the teams, 2-1.
Next, América will visit Motagua of Honduras in Group E. The Águilas have nine points and need just a draw to ensure their advancement, while Motagua, with six points, is essentially but not yet mathematically eliminated. However, for the Hondurans to advance, they would need to win by five goals in order to tilt the tiebreakers in their favor.
Finally, Tigres UANL will host Herediano of Costa Rica in Group B play on Wednesday night. Tigres, with seven points, needs just a draw to advance, while Herediano, with four points, needs to win. A victory would see the Costa Ricans through on tiebreakers.
CONCACAF Champions League Matchday 6
Tuesday, October 20
Santos Laguna (MEX) vs Saprissa (CRC) – 8:00 PM
Motagua (HON) vs América (MEX) – 10:00 PM – Galavision
Wednesday, October 21
Tigres UANL (MEX) vs Herediano (CRC) – 8:00 PM – Univision Deportes
The visitors struck in the 20th minute, when Javier Orozco pounced on a loose ball and slid it into the net. Djaniny’s original cross had been deflected by a Saprissa player, but Diego González was able to recover possession and pass the ball on to Orozco, who scored.
Saprissa poured the pressure on after that goal, with the Costa Ricans forcing Agustín Marchesín into action more than once. Santos eventually began to succumb to the pressure, and in the second half the “Purple Monster” tied the game.
In the 54th minute, Marvin Angulo sent his free kick right under the feet of Santos’s defensive wall – which had jumped – and past Marchesín at his left-hand post to knot the game at 1-1.
That goal served as further motivation for Saprissa, who would complete the comeback in the 78th minute when the unfortunate Néstor Araujo, sliding to cut out a cross, ended up directing the ball into his own net to give the Costa Ricans the 2-1 lead.
Both teams will visit W Connection in September before facing each other again in the final match of Group A – a potentially decisive game – in October.
With the 2-1 win, Saprissa reaches six points while Santos remains on three.
Saprissa: Danny Carvajal, Francisco Calvo Quesada, Adolfo Machado, Andrés Imperiale, Néstor Monge, David Guzmán, Marvin Angulo Borbón (Sergio Cordoba 88′), Deyver Vega (Daniel Colindres 46′), Irving Calderón Reid, Ariel Rodríguez Araya (Dylan Flores 70′), David Ramírez Ruiz.
Santos: Agustín Marchesín, José Javier Abella, Carlos Izquierdoz, Néstor Araujo, Adrián Aldrete, Carlos Orrantía, Jesús Molina, Diego González (Alonso Escoboza 63′), Djaniny Tavares (Andrés Rentería 72′), Javier Orozco.
Group Table – Group A
Saprissa seemed resigned to their fate; the Costa Ricans needed to score at least four goals in a win in order to advance, and they showed absolutely no signs of mustering the necessary firepower. Instead, the “Purple Monster” seemed more concerned with keeping the score down and avoiding a thrashing.
As for América, Gustavo Matosas had put out a somewhat mixed lineup of starters and subs, which led to an adjustment period on the field. It took some time for América to start threatening Danny Carvajal’s goal in earnest, but the Águilas always looked more likely to score.
The breakthrough came just before halftime. In the 43rd minute, Erik Pimental headed on a corner kick and José Daniel “Chepe” Guerrero appeared at the back post to finish it off. That goal didn’t really change anything for Saprissa – they still needed four goals, and a 4-1 win would get them through just as well as a 4-0 would – but it still deflated the Costa Ricans.
In the second half, Saprissa showed even less going forward than in the first, when they had at least managed a few shots from distance. Matosas subed out the likes of Carlos Darwin Quintero and Osvaldo Martínez, already looking ahead to this weekend’s league match, and still América looked the better team.
In the 80th minute, the Águilas scored again, with Martín Zúñiga sending in a diagonal ball from the right that Osmar Mares sent into the net to make it 2-0.
With the 2-0 (5-0) win, América advances to the semifinals, where they will face the winner of the Herediano/Olimpia quarterfinal, while Saprissa is eliminated.
América: Moisés Muñoz, Erik Pimentel, Pablo Aguilar, Ventura Alvarado (Paolo Goltz 58′), Osmar Mares, Osvaldo Martínez (Rubens Sambueza 59′), José Daniel Guerrero, Moisés Velasco, Carlos Darwin Quintero (Francisco Rivera 63′), Antonio Madueña, Martín Zúñiga.
Saprissa: Danny Carvajal, Gabriel Badilla, Adolfo Machado, Andrés Imperiale, Jordan Hakeem Smith (Jonathan Moya 89′), Keilor Soto, David Guzmán, Néstor Monge, Sebastián Diana (Joseph Mora 82′), Deyver Vega (Mynor Escoe 68′), Daniel Colindres.