MLS 🔵 Liga MX sides dominate CONCACAF Champions Cup – Shango Media
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MLS 🔵 Liga MX sides dominate CONCACAF Champions Cup

In the very same week that Opta published their latest data showcasing how MLS had become one of the world’s top ten leagues, the three MLS teams participating in the continental CONCACAF Champions Cup were given a jolt by their neighbours ‘south of the border’ in Liga MX.

The Opta rankings are based on collective performance at the club level and MLS team’s strong showing at the 2023 Leagues Cup, which is contested by MLS and Liga MX teams, last summer will have greatly impacted on the listing with Inter Miami proclaimed champions in the competition while six of the eight quarter-finalists were from MLS.

Inter Miami CF celebrate after winning the Leagues Cup against Nashville

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Inter Miami CF celebrate after winning the Leagues Cup against Nashville Christopher HanewinckelUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The tide however, may be turning again in Liga MX’s favour following this week’s first leg results as there is a high possibility that the four Mexican teams will ensure a clean sweep and secure all four semi-final berths with Inter Miami and Columbus Crew the two MLS teams offering a sliver of hope for the North American league.

Club America-NE Revolution (4-0)

“We just need to hold ourselves to a higher standard as a team”, was how New England Revolution midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye summed up Tuesday’s humbling in Foxborough for the struggling Revs who have yet to record a win in the 2024 MLS season and will need a minor miracle next week when they head to Mexico City against the current Liga MX leaders.

Tigres-Columbus Crew (1-1)

In a match delayed two hours due to thunderstorms, the current MLS champions were forced to come from behind after André-Pierre Gignac headed the visitors ahead in the 18th minute to bag his 19th goal all-time in the competition.

‘Team policy’ saw the Crew with no Cucho Hernandez and the MLS side had Diego Rossi to thank for securing the draw with a sweet finish just before the interval ahead of Aidan Morris’ red card in the 77th minute.

Tigres will be favoured to progress in front of one of the most passionate home crowds in Mexico but an away goal (which is still used by CONCACAF) could be the key to Columbus prevailing in the competition.

Andre-Pierre Gignac of Tigres

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Andre-Pierre Gignac of Tigres Jorge Martinez

Monterrey-Inter Miami (2-1)

Inter Miami fans will be praying that the week ahead is sufficient time for Lionel Messi to recover from the hamstring injury that has plagued his 2024 season to date as there is very much a feeling of two Inter Miami teams, one with and the other without Messi. With the Argentine in the ranks, the Herons seem galvanised and play with an added degree of confidence and his return offers a lifeline for Tata Martino to try and turn the tie around at the Estadio BBVA on Wednesday night.

Pachuca-Herediano (5-0)

The Costa Rican side were the only non MLS/Liga MX representative remaining in the competition and barring a major miracle next week, are set to see their CONCACAF Champions Cup journey come to an end with a rampant first-leg performance Los Tuzos with a Salomon Rondon hat-trick paving the way for a comprehensive win for the Mexican outfit.

CONCACAF Champions Cup: schedule

Quarter-finals

First legs: 2-4 April
Second legs: 9-11 April 

Semi-finals

First legs: 23-25 April
Second legs: 30 April – 2 May

Final

2 June

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