CONCACAF: Salt Lake and Monterrey to face-off in final (+video)
Real Salt Lake and Monterrey CF will feature in the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League final after the semi-finals came to a conclusion this week.
Major League Soccer champions in 2009, Real Salt Lake qualified for their first ever CONCACAF Champions League final by virtue of defeating Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa by three goals to two in the two-legged contest. The first leg, played on American soil on March 15th, saw home side Real take the honours with a 2-0 win thanks to Álvaro Saborío and Fabián Espíndola. This Tuesday saw the tie come to a conclusion with Jamison Olave’s 61st minute strike for Salt Lake prove decisive. His goal sandwiched strikes from Saprissa’s Luis Cordero and Alonso Solis to give the Americans a 3-2 aggregate triumph and a place in their maiden final.
WATCH REAL SALT LAKE v DEPORTIVO SAPRISSA 2ND LEG HIGHLIGHTS:
They will face-off against Mexicans Monterrey CF in the final after their 3-2 aggregate win over compatriots Cruz Azul. In the first leg, played a fortnight ago, Neri Cardozo and Sergio Santana got the goals for Monterrey CF as they defeated their opponents 2-1 with Adrián Cortés bagging a reply for Los Cementos. Cruz Azul, hoping to reach their third consecutive Champions League final, had home advantage in the second leg this Wednesday and went ahead after 23 minutes through Cesar Villaluz. But Monterrey, whose only continental title to date is the now-defunct Cup Winners’ Cup triumph from 1993, restored parity just nine minutes before full-time with Humberto Suazo scoring from the penalty spot. The 3-2 aggregate reverse means that Cruz Azul’s curse in this competition continues whilst Monterrey will meet Real Salt Lake in the two-legged final on April 19th and 26th.
WATCH CRUZ AZUL v MONTERREY CF 2ND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE: