Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pachuca and Chivas advance to CONCACAF Semi Finals.

Both of Mexico’s two clubs that are participating in the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup advanced to the Semi-Finals last night. Pachuca advanced with a 3-0 aggregate score line over Marquense, winning the first leg 2-0 at home and winning last nights match in Guatemala 1-0. They will now face either Costa Rica’s Puntarenas or Houston Dynamo of MLS. Puntarenas has a 1-0 lead over Houston as they both meet tonight in College Station, Texas.

Chivas came back from a 2-1 aggregate scoreline to with a 3-0 home victory over W Connection last night in Guadalajara, advancing with a 4-2 goals aggregate. In a very, very, very empty Estadio Jalisco, Chivas dominated pretty much every aspect of their match. Chivas lost the first leg in Trinidad 2-1 two weeks ago. Chivas will now take on either CD Olimpia of Honduras or DC United from MLS. DC United hosts CD Olimpia tonight at RFK Stadium (which should look something similar to Estadio Jalisco in terms of attendance) with DC United having a 4-1 aggregate lead.

I watched the second half of the Pachuca match and can say that I wasn’t too thrilled with either club. Pachuca, being up 3-0 was pretty much just going through the motions. Marquense tried to mount some offense, but they really never threatened. There was a nice run of play near the end with a near header, but that was about it.

Between watching Pachuca and Chivas, I watched Maryland take on Duke (Maryland beat the Dukies again) and switched back over to FSC to watch Chivas. Estadio Jalisco holds what, about 50,000 or more seats? I would maybe guess that they had 7,000 for their match last night. I guess playing against a club from Trinidad doesn’t get the regular fans out to the stadium. Their supporters group were out and loud behind the goal though, so they brought it well.

Over all, the CONCACAF Champions Cup is playing out exactly to the “script.” Mexico has their two clubs in the Semi-Finals and now awaits to see who they face. DC United and Houston Dynamo host CD Olimpia and Puntarenas tonight to see who moves on. I feel very confident that with a first leg cushion of a 4-1 aggregate, DC United will be facing Chivas in the Semi-Finals. Houston is the gray area here. If they can get their offense going, they have a good chance at a 2-0 victory. Their defense showed pretty well for horrible playing conditions and hopefully will step it up again tonight. It all depends on their offense and their fitness.

On a side note: Mexico once again proved that unless they are playing the USA, they can win a match north of the border, beating Copa America host Venezuela 3-1 in San Diego.

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