New York City FC became the first MLS team to reach the semifinals of the 2022 Concacaf Champions League, advancing on the away goals tiebreaker over Comunicaciones following a 4-2 loss Tuesday night in their quarterfinal second leg that leveled the aggregate 5-5 at Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.
NYCFC will face either Seattle Sounders FC or Club Leon in the semifinals. The Sounders lead 3-0 on aggregate heading into the second leg of their quarterfinal tie Thursday at Estadio Leon (8:30 pm ET | FS1, TUDN).
Taty Castellanos negated the road goal Comunicaciones picked up in the first leg with his CCL-leading fourth tally in the 31st minute, a free kick from 32 yards out curled around a four-man wall and tucked inside the post.
Andrés Lezcano leveled for the hosts just before halftime, but Talles Magno put the defending MLS Cup champions back in front with a critical second road goal, heading in a Castellanos service from 10 yards out in the 53rd minute.
Nicolas Samayoa and Lynner García responded with goals three minutes apart, then José Contreras leveled the tie with a distance strike that froze Sean Johnson two minutes from full time – all ahead of a heart-pounding six minutes of second-half stoppage time that didn't yield another goal.
- THE BIG PICTURE: NYCFC continue to make club history. A few months removed from winning a first MLS Cup title, they’re in the semifinals of the Concacaf Champions League for the first time despite a 4-2 loss in the second leg to a Comunicaciones side that upset the Colorado Rapids in the Round of 16. Three unanswered goals by Los Cremas made things too close for comfort, but NYCFC survived and advanced.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This golazo by Taty Castellanos wasn’t just aesthetically pleasing. It also was a massive road goal NYCFC needed to book their semifinal ticket.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Castellanos is currently in the CCL Golden Boot lead with four goals and he set up Magno’s second-half tally, hustling to track down an attempted clearance before delivering an inch-perfect service into the box.
- COM: Sunday, March 20 vs. Cobán Imperial | 7 pm ET | Liga Nacional de Guatemala
- NYC: Saturday, March 19 vs. Philadelphia Union | 1 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; on DAZN in Canada) | MLS regular season