The soccer news starts with bad news for MLS in the 2019 Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals. Both the New York Red Bulls and the Houston Dynamo lost their home legs 2-0 to Liga MX clubs. That means the unlikeliest of comebacks in the second-legs in Mexico. It's a disappointment for MLS, with reason to believe that they'd finally turned the corner against Liga MX in the CCL.
New York lost 2-0 to Santos Laguna at Red Bull Arena. With Santos Laguna arriving late and the weather favoring the home side, the Red Bulls couldn't get past Santos Laguna goalkeeper Jonathan Orozco. Nre York had 6 shots on goal to Santos Laguna's 4, but it was Santos turning those chances into goals. Diego Valdes opened the scoring in the 42nd inute with Julio Furch making it 2-0 in the 48th. The series concludes on May 12 at Estadio Corona.
"What we did show is that we created chances," Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips said. "If we just finished those, you know, it’s obviously a different game. So, I get confidence from that and the team has too. We know we can create chances against them, right? I feel like I owe the team a couple of goals, so let's see what I can do."
In Houston, the Dynamo lost their opening leg 2-0 to Tigres in a game where they only held 39% of possession and produced no shots on goal. Enner Valenica opened the scoring for Tigres in the 78th with Julian Quinones doubling the lead in the 81st. The series concludes on March 12 in Nuevo Leon.
"It is definitely a disappointing result for us," Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis said. "Every time we play at home we expect to win, so – especially in this tournament when the away goals count. Giving up two is big. I thought in the first-half we played really well, we kept the ball well, we pressed well. Then in the second-half we started dropping a little deeper and gave the ball away – they got a few opportunities. Good teams will punish you."
In the UEFA Champions League, Christian Pulisic subbed on in the 62nd minute for Borussia Dortmund's 1-0 home loss to Spurs. Dortmund exits the oturnament in the round of 16 4-0 on aggregate. The game's only goal came in the 48th minute with Spurs putting 1 shot on goal to Dortmund's 7.
"We had six very, very good opportunities to score in the first half but unfortunately we didn't take them," Borussia Dortmund winger Marius Wolf said. "We need to take the blame for that. Of course, conceding that goal so quickly after the restart was tough to take and decided the game. We did very well keeping Tottenham at bay in the first period. Every one of us believed, you could see that especially in the first half. Now we're focused on the league campaign."
Lynden Gooch subbed on in first-half stoppage time for Sunderland's 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers in the EFL Trophy semifinals. Will Grigg scored n the 44th and Lewis Morgan added a goal in the 47th minutes. Sunderland advances to play Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium on March 31.
"I do think in some small way it repays the commitment and loyalty the supporters have shown to this club... it's something for them to look forward too" Sunderland manager Jack Ross said. "I'm sure they'll enjoy it when it comes around."
World Soccer Talk's Christopher Harris with the TV ratings for MLS week 1.
AFP's Thomas Allnut asks about Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari's immediate future with the club following their Champions League exit. The Sportsman's Matt Ford on standing sections in European stadiums. AP's Ron Harris reports on how much money FIFA is making.
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