Columbus Crew 3-1 Monterrey (May 1, 2024) Game Analysis

Goals from Aidan Morris and Diego Rossi on either side of halftime led the Columbus to a 3-1 victory over Rayados on Wednesday in Monterrey, Mexico, giving the Crew a 5-2 aggregate win in the Concacaf Champions Cup semifinals.

Columbus, the reigning MLS Cup champion, opened the semifinal series with a 2-1 home victory on April 24.

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The Crew advance to oppose another Mexican team, Pachuca, in the final on June 2. Pachuca beat Liga MX rival América 2-1 on Tuesday to cap a 3-2 semifinal victory.

Monterrey leveled the series with an 11th-minute own goal from Crew defender Yevhen Cheberko.

With seconds left in the first half, Monterrey goalie Esteban Andrada rolled the ball out beyond the 18-yard box but left it short of his intended target. Morris ran onto the ball, drove to the top of the box and rolled a right-footed shot past Andrada, who was stranded at the penalty spot.

Columbus’ Alexandru Matan entered the game as a second-half substitute and made an immediate impact. His perfect pass slipped in to Rossi for a 14-yard, left-footed shot that padded the Crew’s aggregate advantage.

Jacen Russell-Rowe capped Columbus’ victory with a counterattack goal in the 89th minute, breaking in alone and chipping the ball past Andrada, who came out to challenge him.

Andrada subsequently saved a penalty kick from Christian Ramírez in second-half stoppage time.

Columbus is headed to the final of the competition, formerly known as the Concacaf Champions League, for the first time. Pachuca is a five-time winner of the event.