CONCACAF Champions League roundup: Sporting, America inch closer to quarters; Quakes stay alive
Nobody booked a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday, but then again, nobody could. The closest anyone could come was Sporting Kansas City, who would have realistically, if not mathematically, been bound for the knockout stages with the win, but they couldn't get the job done.
Sporting are still sitting pretty, though, as are Club America, who came away winners. The San Jose Earthquakes aren't in nearly as good of a place, but they're in a better place than the Montreal Impact and if nothing else, they still have hope.
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Real Esteli
After a pair of away wins to start their Champions League campaign, Sporting slumped to a draw at home thanks to some shoddy finishing and non-existent set piece finishing. Sporting dominated the opening half, but they couldn't find the frame and turn their chances into goals. When they did -- and it was not often -- Justo Lorente was there to deny them, sending the home side into halftime frustrated and level.
While Kansas City may be disappointed with a draw, the result was enough to eliminate Real Esteli and move four points clear of Olimpia. Los Leones will host the Nicaraguan side before traveling to KC for a showdown with Sporting that could determine the winner of Group 2.
Club America 3-0 Sporting San Miguelito
Raul Jimenez put Sporting SM to the sword on Tuesday in Mexico City and put America in the driver's seat to come out of Group 4. The America starlet put the home side in front after 39 minutes, then added another tally in the 77th minute to just about put the match to bed. By the time Andres Andrade added a third goal, the match was long over and America had themselves a three-point lead over Alajuelense.
America still have work to do to book a spot in the quarterfinals. Alajuelense have a match in hand and host Sporting SM next, which should put them level on points heading into the final matchday. The Mexicans will still have the upper hand because they are home to Alajuelense in the final match, but America will still have to do the job if they want to advance to the knockout stages.
San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 Montreal Impact
The Impact's Champions League dreams are just about done after a loss in San Jose, but the Earthquakes' hopes are remain alive. Chris Wondolowski did the honors for San Jose first, scoring in the 21st minute, but it was more than a one-man show for the Quakes. They thoroughly dominated Montreal, bossing them at the front and back. Marvin Chavez doubled the San Jose lead before Shea Salinas put it away and the Quakes' walked away impressive winners.
With the win, the Earthquakes sit just three points back of first place Heredia in Group 5. San Jose will have to hope Montreal beat Heredia on the next matchday, but if they do, the Quakes will just need a win at home in the last match to advance to the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Montreal need to beat Heredia by six goals if they want any chance of seeing their way to the knockout stages.
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