“CONCACAF Champions Cup: Quarter-Final Drama and Semi-Final Showdowns”

The CONCACAF Champions Cup marches on this week with the second legs of four quarter-final fixtures. Spanning Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th April, these matches have already delivered intense drama in the continental competition.

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On Tuesday, Columbus Crew stunned Mexican powerhouse Tigres UANL in a thrilling encounter. Following a 1-1 draw in Ohio during the first leg, Tigres initially gained the upper hand in the return fixture, capitalizing on a mistake by Crew goalkeeper Patrick Schulte to snatch an early lead. However, the reigning MLS Cup champions fought back valiantly, leveling the game through Diego Rossi and ultimately forcing it into a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out.

Maintaining composure amidst a hostile atmosphere at Estadio Universitario, Columbus emerged victorious, defeating the Liga MX side 4-3 on penalties. It marked a historic moment for US soccer, with Columbus becoming the first MLS team to win a penalty shoot-out against Mexican opposition.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s other quarter-final saw Club América ease to a commanding 5-2 victory over New England Revolution, securing a resounding 9-2 aggregate win over the Eastern Conference strugglers.

As for the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, unlike some domestic cup competitions, the pathway from the quarter-finals onwards has already been determined, negating the need for a draw. Columbus Crew and Tigres UANL will each face one of the winners from Wednesday’s quarter-finals, setting the stage for an enthralling next phase.

The semi-final fixtures are as follows:

Club America vs. Pachuca
Monterrey vs. Columbus Crew
Both semi-final legs are scheduled for the same nights, with the first legs taking place on Tuesday, 23rd April, and the return fixtures occurring the following week on Tuesday, 30th April. The triumphant sides will then vie for supremacy in the CONCACAF Champions Cup final on Sunday, 2nd June.

While Mexican side León holds the title of reigning champions, their absence from this year’s edition has opened the door for contenders like Club América, who are widely favored to clinch victory and add to their record seven CONCACAF titles. América’s most recent triumph in the tournament came in 2016, marking the second of consecutive title wins.

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