ORLANDO, FL – December 16, 2020 – Play continued in the Scotiabank CONCACAF (The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) Champions League Quarterfinals last night at Exploria Stadium.
Atlanta United of the MLS played their second match against Club America from Mexico. Though Atlanta won the match in Orlando (1-0) on Wednesday, Club America won the previous match (3-0) that was played in March, and moves to the semifinals as they based on aggregate points from both matches,
Atlanta needed to score a total of 4 points to move on. Both teams exuded aggressiveness early in the match, but Atlanta lost it’s sense of urgency as the match move on, and the Mexican club simply matched their energy.
Atlanta did get their lone hopeful score in the 82nd minute when homegrown rookie Jackson Conway managed to get it in the net off of a George Bello cross with a perfect header.
The dark mood returned in the 90th minute when Marcelino Moreno was shown a straight red card for violent conduct. The ATLUTD star kicked out at Santiago Naveda after a strong challenge, resulting in a straight dismissal.
This was a scrappy contest, with 32 fouls called, yet only 3 yellow cards issued, and 1 red.
If it weren’t for several key saves from Club America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, the Five Stripes could have mounted a complete comeback as they had plenty of chances.
In the second match of the night, Cruz Azul faced off of Carlos Vela and LAFC in a single match to move on to the semifinals.
These two teams did not get to play in March due to COVID cancellations.
Both LA and Cruz opened up moving the ball with sharp precision and confidence.
In the 14th minute, Azul’s Yoshimar Yotun put in a simple penalty kick to start the scoring. The Yotun PK came after Eddie Segura pushed Orbelin Pineda from behind on a breakaway,
In the 36th minute, LAFC’s Carlos Vela was tackled in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Vela followed by easily putting the ball in for the equalizer.
19-year-old Kwadwo Opoku scored the game-winner in the 71st minute. He made it 2-1 with a scorching, left-footed volley into the bottom corner when a corner kick bounced to him on the edge of the 18-yard box.
In the second half of the match, the precision and accuracy was gone and both teams scratched for openings. LA managed to keep Azul at bay to move on to the semifinals on Saturday where they will face Club America at 10:30pm