Wednesday’s soccer news starts with NYCFC advancing in the Concacaf Champions League on the away goals rule. The defending MLS Cup Champions lost 4-2 on the night at Comunicaciones, tying the series at 5-5 with NYCFC’s away goals making the difference. NYCFC took the lead through Valentin Castellanos in the 31st with Comunicaciones equalizing in the 45th. Talles Magno returned New York’s lead in the 53rd, but Comunicaciones equalized in the 69th and added goals in the 72nd and 88th minutes.
“We scored our two goals and that was fantastic,” NYCFC coach Ronny Delia said. Two good performers in Taty and Talles,” Deila said. “We had the game in our hands but we looked very tired at the end of the game. Every time they put the ball in the box, they looked dangerous so we’re happy to get through. It’s the morale in this team that is fantastic.”
It’s New England’s chance to advance in the Concacaf Champions League later tonight, carrying their 3-0 lead to UNAM Pumas. “They did fine, and we had a very good result,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said about the first-leg. Hopefully, we can get that same kind of effort and performance…, but it will be challenging, but I think it was a good experience for our team.”
Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream’s West Brom lost 1-0 at Fulham in the Championship. West Brom scored in the 64th minute. Daryl Dike wasn’t available for West Brom.
“It wasn’t good enough,” Fulham coach Marco Silva said. “The first-half, we weren’t here. It was just our shirts which were on the pitch first-half, because we were not here. I don’t want to be unfair to West Bromwich, because they did their best and they deserved to win the match. But first-half we were not on the pitch. We didn’t express ourselves, we didn’t play in our way. They did everything we were expecting, nothing new.”
Andrija Novakovich’s Frosinone lost 2-0 at Crotone in Serie B. Frosinone fell behind to a 15th minute penalty with Crotone scoring again in the 48th.
Two of the seeded teams exited UEFA’s Champions League in the round of 16, with Sporting knocking out Ajax and Villarreal beating Manchester United. Ajax defender Daley Blind said, “If you want to take the game to them and the ball won’t go in, then the scenario changes. They call it Murphy’s law, don’t they? I couldn’t say much about the game, but we are left empty handed.”
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Ragnick shifted his club’s focus to the Premier League. “In the league, the situation is pretty clear (to qualify for next season’s Champions League),” he said. “This nine games, we will have to win most of them. “For sure, we have to win against Arsenal. The only way to finish fourth, in the end, is to win most of them.”
SI’s Jonathan Wilson with the bigger issues for Manchester United. The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew also has Manchester United after exiting the Champions League. FourFourTwo’s Richard Jolly with a look at Chelsea’s situation. AP’s Rob Harris on a potential bidder for Chelsea.
THURSDAY’S SOCCER TV
Europa League on Galavision: Monaco vs Braga at 1:45pm with Braga leading 2-0 and West Ham vs Sevilla at 4pm with Sevilla up 1-0. UniMas has Galatasaray vs Barcelona at 1:45pm with that series scoreless. Lyon vs Porto is on TUDN at 4pm with Lyon up 1-0. Copa Sudamericana on beIN Sport: Antofagasta vs Union Espanola at 6:15pm. beIN en Espanol has Deportivo La Guaira vs Hermanos Colmenarez at 6:15pm. Copa Libertadores on beIN Sport: The Strongest vs Universidad Catolica at 8:30pm. Concacaf Champions League on FS1: Club Leon vs Seattle at 8:30pm with the Sounders leading 3-0. All Times Eastern
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