The CONCACAF Champions league returned this week to bring us the first leg of the quarterfinal match-ups: FC Dallas vs Árabe Unido, Pumas vs Tigres, New York Red Bulls vs Vancouver Whitecaps, and Pachuca vs Saprissa.
Here is the breakdown of the the first matches of the SCCL knockout rounds…
FC Dallas 4, Árabe Unido 0
FC Dallas hosted Árabe Unido of Panama on Thursday night, and it was a beat down from the 30th minute on. FC Dallas are in cruise control, and will have to do just the basics to get to the semifinal on Wednesday, March 1.
Pachuca 0, Saprissa 0
Saprissa hosted Pachuca in the first matchup of the week, and it was a scrappy one. This duel had a total of 34 fouls, and 24 shots between the teams, yet, nothing found the back of the net.
Saprissa were surprisingly lacking in the offensive end, despite rifling off 13 shots of their own. Many of the attempts were long range and or did not threaten the keeper. Pachuca will host Saprissa on Tuesday, February 28 to decide the winner of this series.
Tigres 1, Pumas 1
The team which, on paper, looked the most dangerous in the SCCL was Tigres of Mexico. On Wednesday night, it looked like they would do damage against Pumas when new signee, Eduardo Vargas, scored a beauty from distance in the 41st minute.
Pumas didn’t shy away, however, as Matías Britos equalized for Pumas in the 62nd minute. The game ended in a draw, but it appears that Pumas may have the upper hand in this SCCL quarterfinal.
New York Red Bulls 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 1
It was the road team who got on the board first between these two MLS challengers. Kekuta Manneh found the back of the net in the 40th minute for the Whitecaps.
The Red Bulls were not out of it, though, as they equalized in the 62nd minute to salvage some hope in this clash. Similarly with the Liga MX face-off, the MLS battle will be decided on Wednesday, March 1.