Leo Suarez and Henry Martin scored stylish goals two minutes apart early in the first half, Bruno Valdez added a third nine minutes before halftime, and Club America completed a 3-0 victory over Atlanta United in the first leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series at the Estadio Azteca.
The visitors had some good attacking moments, most notably a looping header from Fernando Meza in the first half when Atlanta's deficit was 2-0, and three separate efforts in the second half from distance from Pity Martinez. The latter two both struck the crossbar, on a night when an away goal would've made overturning the aggregate score next week much more attainable.
Atlanta also suffered yet another injury in an early season full of them, when prized new signing Matheus Rossetto left in the 58th minute with an apparent leg injury, 13 minutes after coming on as a halftime sub.
America's Oscar Jimenez finished with seven saves for America.
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- THE BIG PICTURE: Atlanta paid emotional tribute to injured striker Josef Martinez in their 2-1 win over FC Cincinnati over the weekend. But his absence was pronounced at Estadio Azteca, particularly on an 84th minute chance that Adam Jahn couldn't corral. An away goal would've made Leg 2 a much more realistic ask for Atlanta.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The ball tends to fly a little bit in Mexico City's altitude of more than 7,300 feet. And boy, did Leo Suarez's 11th minute golazo ever fly.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: While Suarez's belter was truly special, it was Richard Sanchez pulling the strings for Las Aguilas, providing an incisive throughball to set up Martin's strike from inside the penalty area, then spotting Valdez on a corner kick 23 minutes later.
- AME: Sunday, March 15 vs. Cruz Azul, 2020 Liga MX Clausura (10:15 pm ET)
- ATL: Saturday, March 14 vs. Sporting Kansas City (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in the US and MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada)