SuperLiga: New England and Morelia in 2010 final (+video)
For anybody unfamiliar with the SuperLiga one could call it a mini version of a UEFA Europa League or a Copa Sudamericana. I say “mini version” because it is pretty much a best of the rest competition limited to teams from the United States and Mexico with the best four teams who have not qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League from each country allowed to participate in this tournament. Now in its fourth year the SuperLiga shows the Mexicans enjoying more success than the Americans with two titles to one so far, Tigres UNAL winning the title last year after defeating Chicago Fire in a penalty shoot-out after the game finished 1-1. In this year’s competition the group stages, divided into two groups of four teams, were completed in July with each team only having to play their group opponents once. The best four teams in the competition have played in the semi-finals this week and Stoppage Time – International Football Blog brings you the latest action:
New England Revolution, 2008 winners of this event, have qualified for their second final after beating Mexican side Puebla F.C. in a penalty shoot-out after their semi-final contest finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. The Revolution qualified for the semi-finals after finishing top of Group B with a 100% record over Morelia, Chicago Fire and UNAM Pumas and had the home draw against their Mexican opponents, who finished second behind Houston Dynamo in Group A. Kenny Mansally gave the Revs the lead after 56 minutes but the New England outfit were made to pay the price just two minutes later when Nicolás Olivera equalized for Puebla to restore parity so soon after going behind. With no further scoring in the ninety minutes the match went straight into a penalty shoot-out and each team were equal to each other until they took their fourth penalty with the Revs having the advantage once Edgar Lugo hit his kick straight at keeper Matt Reis. Kenny Mansally scored the winning penalty to take former Liverpool man Steve Nicol’s team into their second SuperLiga final.
WATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION V PUEBLA F.C. HERE:
The second semi-final was played between Houston Dynamo, who finished top of group A with two wins and a draw from three games, and Morelia. The Mexicans went through courtesy of a goal just two minutes into the second half after Miguel Sabah coolly finished to give his side a 1-0 lead which they never relinquished. It sets up the third America v Mexico final in the tournament’s four year history with only the 2009 final being an all-American affair. The final takes place in late August and will be hosted at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, the home of the New England Revolution.
WATCH HIGHLIGHTS OF HOUSTON DYNAMO V MORELIA HERE: