CONCACAF Champions League

Club America win back to back CONCACAF Champions League titles

Club America celebrated consecutive CONCACAF Champions League titles as Las Aguilas defeated Tigres 4-1 on aggregate to break the record for most CONCACAF Club titles won.

Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s men needed at least two goals to force extra time after dropping to a 2-0 defeat in the first leg.

And the Liga MX champions were almost caught out early as the hosts broke free on the left through Rubens Sambueza, only to see Darwin Quintero fail to steer home the opener.

Tigres sorely needed French international Andre-Pierre Gignac to be at his best, and he delivered when he fired in from a rebound at the stroke of halftime to pull the Liga MX champions within one.

In the second half, Tigres retained possession but struggled to find top gear as their midfield gave the side little impetus going forward.

In the 65th minute, Michael Arroyo came on as a substitute and almost immediately showed his dynamism. The Ecuadorian forward breezed his way onto the edge of the box before slamming home past Naheul Guzman to put things at 3-1 on aggregate.

With three minuets to go in the match, Las Aguilas finally put a seal on the title. A penalty was called for a tackle on Miguel Samudio. Osvaldo Martinez stepped up and converted to send the Estadio Azteca into jubilation.

The final whistle meant Club America will represent CONCACAF in this winter’s Club World Cup and it adds another accomplishment to one of Mexico’s most historic teams.


Club America take control of CONCACAF Champion League Final with 2-0 win over Tigres

Club America stunned Tigres with two second half goals to take full control of their CONCACAF Champion League Final tie.

The Liga MX champions Tigres now face an uphill task at the Estadio Azteca after losing 2-0 at home in the first leg.

Tigres should have led in the first half through Javier Aquino who, with only the goalkeeper to beat, placed his effort well above the crossbar following a great pass from Israel Jimenez.

Las Aguilas, though, were a threat on the counter and after a brilliant build-up from Osvaldo Martinez, Dario Benedetto headed home to give his side the lead.

There were hints that this would not be the night for Tigres and they were lucky not to concede a second when Andres “Rifle” Andrade was wrongly flagged for an offside call when he caught Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman well past his line.

But while Tigres pushed for an equalizer, Osvaldo Martinez scored a second away goal. Rubens Sambueza found Osvaldo Martinez in space on a breakaway and from his pass finished past Nahuel Guzman from 25-yards to seal the first leg in Las Aguilas’ favor.

Both sides will meet again next Wednesday to decide who will represent CONCACAF in the 2016 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.


Ten-man Club America reach CONCACAF Champions League final thanks to Marchesin blunder

Club America took a huge step towards successfully defending their CONCACAF Champions League title with a 1-0 home win over Santos Laguna.

Michael Arroyo’s extra time goal was enough to secure victory and send Ignacio Ambriz’s side to a CONCACAF Champions League final matchup against Tigres.

After a goalless first half, in which Oribe Peralta and Darwin Quintero came close to grabbing a breakthrough, both teams went into the break scoreless.

A sterile opening to the second half followed, but the game came to life when Darwin Quintero was sent off for Club America in the closing stages of the regular period.

Playing all of extra time a man short, Club America’s goal came in the 102nd minute. Agustin Marchesin saw a seemingly easy Michael Arroyo free-kick slip through his hands in embarrassing fashion and into the back of the net to give Las Aguilas the lead.

Dario Benedetto then threatened to double America’s lead when forcing one of his shots into the woodwork, but Las Aguilas survived a late Santos push to hold on to the 1-0 victory.

The first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final between Club America and Tigres will be on April 20 at the Estadio Universitario, while Las Aguilas will host the return leg at the Estadio Azteca on April 27.


Gignac double steers ten-man Tigres to CONCACAF Champions League Final

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored twice to help Tigres secure a 2-0 victory over Queretaro and reach the the CONCACAF Champions League final.

After a goalless first leg, the game started evenly-matched and closely fought with neither side allowed time to dwell on the ball.

The game’s best chance of a first half breakthrough came after only five minutes, though, when Tigres’ Javier Aquino had a headed effort go only inches wide.

In the 71st minute, Jesús Dueñas was given a red card by referee Roberto Garcia Orozco for bringing down Edgar Benitez, leaving Tigres down to 10 men for the final 19 minutes of the match.

But after Dueñas went off, Tigres turned the pressure on and Andre-Pierre Gignac received a deflected pass from Damian Alvarez to fire home the breakthrough.

Gignac then sealed Tigres’ place in the final when he drove in between two defenders and slid the ball behind Tiago Volpi to score the 2-0.

Tigres will now take on Club America in a repeat of the 2014 Apertura Final.


Club America and Santos Laguna play to stalemate in CONCACAF Champions League semifinal first leg

Holders Club America played out to a goalless draw in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League tie at Santos Laguna.

Both sides lacked dynamism throughout but did spurn some good chances in the first half, including a save from Darwin Quintero who later went off injured.

Las Aguilas did finish the half stronger, but did not test Agustin Marchesin much in the second half, as the hosts started the second period more positively.

But a dull second half followed, and after a largely even affair, both sides will meet again on April 5 to decide who will progress to the final.

Next, Las Aguilas turn their focus to Liga MX where they take on Leon at the Estadio Azteca on Saturday. Meanwhile, Santos Laguna will travel to bottom-dwellers Dorados de Sinaloa.