CONCACAF: Champions League Preliminary Round Review (+video)
The preliminary rounds of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League have been completed and Stoppage Time – International Football Blog rounds up the winners and losers at this stage. Plus the full draw for the group stages of the competition is revealed:
With eight teams already qualified automatically for the group stages there were sixteen teams who were hoping to join them at the start of the week which has been whittled down to the eight needed after this week’s preliminary round, second leg matches were played all over the continent. Lone Canadian representatives Toronto FC set the ball rolling after coming from behind twice in their away game against Motagua in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa to secure a 2-2 draw on the night and a 3-2 aggregate win overall. After former Toronto player Amado Guevara scored a brace for Motagua, Dwayne De Rosario and Chad Barrett proved to be the heroes for the Canadian champions as they celebrated progression into the group stage just one year after missing out to the Puerto Rico Islanders.
WATCH MOTAGUA FC V TORONTO FC 2ND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE:
This moves us on nicely to the Islanders who have surprised everybody by the margin of their victory over MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy. The Islanders have followed up their 2010 CFU Club Championship title with a fantastic showing over LA’s galaxy of stars thrashing the Americans 4-1 in the first leg away from home and sealing the deal at home despite a 2-1 second leg defeat. Their 5-3 aggregate victory takes them into the group stage and has knocked out a strong team in the process. Trinidad & Tobago representatives Joe Public and San Juan Jabloteh endured contrasting fortunes in their matches against Brujas FC and Santos Laguna respectively. Joe Public got the better of their Costa Rican opponents with a 4-2 second leg win allowing them to go through 6-4 on aggregate whilst Jabloteh were heavily beaten by Santos Laguna 6-0 on aggregate and ensured that a quartet of Mexican clubs would participate in the group stages.
WATCH PUERTO RICO ISLANDERS V LA GALAXY 2ND LEG HERE:
For Mexican side Cruz Azul it was business as usual in their two-legged tie against SanFrancisco of Panama. Last season’s losing finalists disposed easily of their opponents by a hefty 9-2 aggregate scoreline with Emanuel Villa scoring a hat-trick in the first leg, which Cruz Azul won 3-2, and Javier Orozco doing likewise in the second leg which the Mexicans cruised with a 6-0 victory. Seattle Sounders join their compatriots Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew in the group stages but only after they scraped to a 2-1 aggregate win over El Salvador’s Isidro Metapán thanks to Alvaro Fernández’s 74th minute away goal in the second leg which proved vital. The other matches in the group phase saw aggregate victories for C.D. Marathón (4-2 v Tauro FC) and C.D. FAS (3-1 v C.S.D. Xelajú).
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2010-11 GROUP STAGE DRAW
Group A: Real Salt Lake (USA), Arabe Unido (Panama), Cruz Azul (Mexico), Toronto FC (Canada)
Group B: Columbus Crew (USA), Municipal (Guatemala), Santos Laguna (Mexico), Joe Public (T&T)
Group C: Monterrey CF (Mexico), C.D. Saprissa (Costa Rica), Seattle Sounders (USA), C.D. Marathón (Honduras)
Group D: Toluca (Mexico), C.D. Olimpia (Honduras), Puerto Rico Islanders (Puerto Rico), FAS (El Salvador)