There should be plenty of goalscoring potential on display on Wednesday night as Columbus Crew SC welcomes one of Liga MX’s top teams in CF Monterrey for the first leg of the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals at Historic Crew Stadium (8:30pm ET/FS2).
Both teams are coming off of decisive wins in the Round of 16. Columbus used a 4-0 win away from home to help defeat Nicaragua’s Real Esteli 5-0 on aggregate, while Monterrey posted back-to-back three-goal games in a 6-1 aggregate victory against Atletico Pantoja of the Dominican Republic.
Columbus was led by Gyasi Zardes in the previous round, as the forward scored a pair of goals in their first-leg victory against the Pinoleros. Also helping the cause was the playmaking of Lucas Zelarayan, and the Argentine will be called on again to spearhead the Columbus attack against Rayados.
The Liga MX side will be a familiar foe to Zelarayan, who spent four years at Monterrey’s city rival Tigres and even faced Rayados in the Final of the 2019 SCCL as a member of the Felinos.
Notably, there is something about the SCCL knockout rounds that bring out the best in Monterrey, which is about to wrap out the Liga MX Clausura campaign while currently standing in fourth place. Notably, in each of the four previous occasions in which Monterrey has reached the knockout stage of the SCCL, they have gone on to lift the trophy.
That run of success will be put to the test though against the reigning MLS Cup champions and a Crew side determined to reach its first-ever SCCL semifinal.
COURTESY CONCACAF & COLUMBUS CREW SC