MLS

Guillermo Ochoa inspires Club América win over Philadelphia Union

Philly was unable to score an early goal and the Mexican goalkeeper stopped a penalty early in the second half at the Subaru Park.

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Guillermo Ochoa inspires Club América win over Philadelphia Union
Tim Nwachukwu AFP

Philadelphia Union was the last team left from Major League Soccer in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League, but they had a difficult test against Club América to reach the final. The MLS side lost 2-0 at the Azteca stadium and needed to win by that same score if they wanted to force extra-time at the Subaru Park.

Key save from Ochoa to keep hopes alive

Philly went on the attack from the start, but they couldn’t finish the chances they generated near the goal that was being guarded by Guillermo Ochoa. Also the defense from América did superbly, clearing every cross or corner that Philly attempted.

The game was decided in the 51st minute when Jamiro Monteiro missed a penalty that would’ve changed the game at that point. The experienced Ochoa read it the whole way to keep the clean sheet and after the match Philly’s coach Jim Curtis said the penalty should’ve been a red card.

Philly not happy with referee

“Basically starting from the non-penalty kick call that was missed in the Azteca, to the 100% red card tonight, you have some questions about the officiating. For me that was, whether you're playing in the biggest league in the world, the smallest league in the world, the most corrupt league in the world, that's 100% a red card.

“So from there, whether you make the penalty or miss the penalty, I think that that changes the game, playing with one less man for 45 minutes. I think you guys know me well enough to know I don't like to complain about officiating, but here I sit complaining about it because it was a big turning point of the game.”

Club América saw the opportunity to end the game in the 79th minute. The Liga MX side scored from a counter attack and Nicolás Benedetti was inside the six-yard box to tap the ball to make it 1-0. Then in stoppage time Henry Martín made it 2-0 and América booked their ticket to the final. They will know who their rival will be after tonight when Cruz Azul goes on the road to face Monterrey in the second leg of the other semi-final.