CCL: Rapids eliminated after Metapán win vs. Real España
The MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday night after Isidro Metapán defeated Real España 3-2 to claim the second and final quarterfinal berth in Group B. Mexican side Santos Laguna won the group with 13 points.
The Salvadorans became the first team from that country to advance to the quarterfinals, finishing two points ahead of the Colorado Rapids (7 points). A tie between Metapán and Real España would have given the Rapids a ticket to the knockout rounds.
Rapids fans held out hope with Thursday night's result tied at 0-0 at halftime and 1-1 early in the second half.
However, Metapán took the lead for good in the 68th minute on a stunning curling free kick from ex-San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Ramón Sánchez. The home side extended their lead to 3-1 with eight minutes remaining and held on for the win despite a stoppage time goal from Real España.
Colorado could have wrapped up qualification with a victory at Santos Laguna on Wednesday night, but manager Gary Smith's side lost 2-0 in their group finale.