The quarterfinals of the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League get underway this week, and three of Mexico’s four entrants remain in the competition.
León was eliminated in the round of sixteen after falling to LAFC 3-2 on aggregate; Tigres UANL, América, and Cruz Azul are still in contention, and they’ll all be facing Major League Soccer teams in the quarterfinals.
Cruz Azul will take on LAFC, Tigres will face NYCFC, and América was drawn against Atlanta United. The Águilas will start their series at home, while both La Máquina and the Universitarios will be away for their first legs.
The knockout rounds consist of two-legged, home-and-away series, with the winner determined by aggregate score. Away goals are tiebreakers.
Tigres UANL earned their first win of the Clausura 2020 with a 2-1 victory against Atlas. The result keeps the universitarios unbeaten at home this season, while the Rojinegros have now lost two in a row.
The hosts started the game off strongly and they took the lead in the 10th minute. Luis Quiñones received the ball in midfield, ran it into the box, and beat Camilo Vargas to make it 1-0 for Tigres early on.
América beat Tigres UANL by the minimum difference to get the Águilas off to a winning start in the Clausura 2020. The result gives the universitarios their first loss and keeps them winless in two.
Tigres started the game off strongly, but they lost some momentum after captain Guido Pizarro had to leave the field with an injury after just 10 minutes. América got stronger as the game went on and they created several good chances but couldn’t beat Nahuel Guzmán. Memo Ochoa made some good saves of his own at the other end as both goalkeepers shone in the first 45.
América was the only quarterfinalist to overturn a first-leg deficit and advance as they beat Tigres UANL 2-4 on the night and 4-5 on aggregate to move on to the semifinals.
Tigres seemed to have the upper hand going into this one: a 2-1 aggregate lead, two away goals, and their positioning as the higher seed if it came down to that tiebreaker. But América came out attacking and before long they had the series turned on its head.
América took the lead but couldn’t hold it as Tigres UANL came back for a 1-2 away win in the first leg of their quarterfinal series.
América seemed a little disjointed at the start; although they had more possession, they were unable to do much with it. Guido Rodríguez and Richard Sánchez seemed out of sync in midfield, which led to difficulty linking up with the attack.
Tigres UANL ensured the best possible seeding for the playoffs with a 1-2 victory against FC Juárez in the final regular season game of the Apertura 2019. The result sends the universitarios into the playoffs on the back of an eight-game unbeaten streak, while the Bravos saw their season end on a sour note with a home loss.
The game started off well for the visitors, who took the lead in just the 6th minute. Tigres worked the ball into the box and eventually to André-Pierre Gignac, who volleyed it home to make it 0-1 for the universitarios.
Despite numerous chances at both ends, neither Tigres UANL nor Pachuca could find the breakthrough as this one finished 0-0. The result puts Pachuca’s playoff hopes in jeopardy, while Tigres were already assured a spot in the upcoming Liguilla.
The goalkeepers were the stars of the game, with both Nahuel Guzmán and Rodrigo Rey making impressive stops to preserve their respective clean sheets. Tigres had the majority of possession in the first half, but Pachuca – who needed the win more urgently – kept the pressure on and had a chance or two on the break.
Tigres UANL earned a victory by the minimum difference over 10-man Toluca on Wednesday night. The result keeps the universitarios unbeaten in five, while the Diablos Rojos saw their own five-game unbeaten streak halted.
There were chances at both ends from the beginning, but when Tigres thought they had found the breakthrough, André-Pierre Gignac’s would-be goal was disallowed for a foul in the build-up. Toluca had opportunities as well, but Nahuel Guzmán made several good saves to keep them off the board, including an impressive one against Emmanuel Gigliotti in the 13th minute.