CCL: RSL tops group, Crew gets through
Real Salt Lake avenged a stunning loss at Cruz Azul with a 3-1 victory over the Mexican league leaders to win Group A in the CONCACAF Champions League, and Columbus gave Major League Soccer two spots in the final eight.
All four Mexican clubs also advanced to the quarterfinals. A draw Nov. 1 will fill out the bracket.
Here's the scoop on the region's top club competition:
- RSL, which saw a 3-1 lead disappear against Cruz Azul in a 5-4 loss Aug. 25 in Mexico City, won its group with a 3-1 triumph over the Cementeros as Paulo Arajo Jr. tallied twice. The Utahns, who hope to overtake the Galaxy this weekend for MLS's Western Conference and Supporters' Shield titles, extended their unbeaten streak to a dozen games in all competitions.
- Columbus ended a six-game winless streak by beating Trinidad & Tobago's Joe Public FC, 4-1, as Emilio Renteria scored two goals. The Crew clinched two days earlier when Santos Laguna destroyed Guatemala's Municipal, 6-1, to finish atop Group B.
- All four Mexican clubs -- Santos, Cruz Azul, Group C winner Monterrey and Toluca -- advanced to next spring's quarterfinals. Honduras' Olimpia and Costa Rica's Saprissa also moved on.
- USSF D2 Pro League finalist Puerto Rico Islanders, who knocked the Galaxy out of the competition during the preliminary round, were eliminated in a loss to Olimpia.
- Toluca claimed its berth as Hector Mancilla scored a hat trick in a 5-0 romp over El Salvador's FAS. Santos got two goals each from Oribe Peralta and Daniel Ludueña, and Monterrey -- the only unbeaten team in the group phase -- wrapped up its Group C slate by beating Honduras' Marathon on Sergio Santana's second-half goal.
GAME DAY 6
Toronto FC (Canada) 1 (Attakora 30), Arabe Unido (Panama) 0
Real Salt Lake 3 (USA) (Araujo 43, 67, Warner 69), Cruz Azul (Mexico) 1 (Villaluz 71)
Final standings: x-Real Salt Lake 13 points, x-Cruz Azul 10, Toronto FC 8, Arabe Unido 3
Santos Laguna (Mexico) 6 (Peralta 20, 51, Luduena 27, 87, Ruiz 40, Quintero 81), Municipal (Guatemala) 1 (Castillo 39)
Joe Public (Trinidad & Tobago) 1 (Noel pen. 27), Columbus Crew (USA) 4 (Mendoza 20, Renteria pen. 50, 81, Oughton 92+)
Final standings: Santos 13 points, Columbus 12, Municipal 8, Joe Public 1
Seattle Sounders FC (USA) 1 (Jaqua 17), Saprissa (Costa Rica) 2 (Arrieta 26, Guzman 87)
Marathon (Honduras) 0, Monterrey (Mexico) 1 (Santana 69)
Final standings: x-Monterrey 16 points, x-Saprissa 10, Marathon 9, Seattle 3
Toluca (Mexico) 5 (Mancilla 19, 56, 90, Cuevas pen. 55, Calderon 87), FAS (El Salvador) 0
Olimpia (Honduras) 3 (Rojas 53, 77, de Souza 81), Puerto Rico Islanders (Puerto Rico) 0
Final standings: Olimpia 13 points, Toluca 10, Puerto Rico 8, FAS 2
x -- advances to quarterfinals; draw on Nov. 1