The short of it is this: Columbus Crew SC can advance to the semifinals of the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League with a victory over CF Monterrey on Wednesday night at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey, Mexico.
That said, Columbus does have multiple paths to the semifinals, as the Crew can advance should both clubs remain level on aggregate and Columbus records at least three road goals on Wednesday. The Black & Gold can also advance via penalty kicks should Wednesday’s match end in a 2-2 draw.
The two sides played to a thrilling 2-2 draw in the first leg in which each team held the lead and two goals were scored in the final 10 minutes. The Crew’s Milton Valenzuela and Lucas Zelarayan each tallied goals for the Crew, while Monterrey’s goals came from Jose Alvarado and Ake Arnaud Loba.
Alvarado’s goal in second-half stoppage time denied Columbus of a home victory and now with two away goals under their belts, Monterrey holds an advantage beyond playing at home.
As for Monterrey’s attack, the Liga MX side has been getting contributions from all over the field, but is still waiting for the first goal in the 2021 SCCL from star striker Rogelio Funes Mori, who has just one goal in his last six matches in all competitions.
One has to go all the way back to the 2009-10 SCCL to find the last time Columbus played a knockout round match on Mexican soil. In the 2009-10 SCCL quarterfinals, Crew SC traveled to Toluca for the second leg of their quarterfinal series and narrowly fell 3-2 on Sinha’s late winner.
Now more than 11 years later, the Crew will be looking for its first-ever win in Mexico, though they’ll be doing so without Lucas Zelarayan, who is forced to sit out due to yellow card accumulation.
Kickoff on Wednesday night is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on FS2 and TUDN.
COURTESY COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS