Away goals rule saves NYCFC in CONCACAF Champions League
The Major League Soccer side lost to Comunicaciones 4-2, but advanced to the semifinal of the CONCACAF Champions League on away goals.
It was an ugly night for the 2021 MLS Cup champions on Tuesday night in Guatemala because they were on the verge of being eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League campaign. New York City FC had beaten Comunicaciones 3-1 at Rentschler Field in the first leg of the quarter-finals so they arrived confident to Guatemala since they were on the verge of advancing to the next round.
‘Taty’ Castellanos was crucial
While the UEFA Champions League decided to eliminate the away goals rule, CONCACAF decided to keep it for this edition of the tournament, this is what saved New York City FC from an embarrassing night at Mateo Flores stadium for the second leg of the quarter-finals. It was Valentín ‘Taty; Castellanos who scored the first goal of the match following a 32 yard free kick and his fourth of the campaign.
Then it was all Comunicaciones because Lezcano Montero scored the equalizer before the break. The MLS Cup champions came out strong with Telles Magno scoring in the 53rd minute following an assist from ‘Taty’ Castellanos to make it 2-1. But the home side refused to give up and they put the New York-based team against the ropes.
Nicolas Samayoa and Lynner Garcia scored in a three minute period. Then in the 88th minute José Contreras scored to give Comunicaciones the 4-2 victory, which meant that they won, but the MLS side advanced to the semifinals on away goals with a 5-5 aggregate. The MLS Cup reigning champions need to improve defensively if they want to aspire to win the CONCACAF Champions League and avoid any surprises.