Last-gasp Crew sink Houston in CONCACAF Champions Cup


Columbus Crew defeated Houston Dynamo 1-0 in their CONCACAF Champions Cup round of 16 first-leg clash on Wednesday after a 96th-minute own goal from Adalberto Carrasquilla.

An entertaining tussle at Houston’s Shell Energy Stadium looked set to end in a stalemate after Crew failed to break down a resilient Dynamo line-up.

But with time running out, Romanian substitute Alexandru Matan curled a low shot from just inside the area that took a wicked deflection off Carrasquilla to beat Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark.

The win leaves MLS champions Columbus in pole position to advance to the quarter-finals when the teams meet again in next Tuesday’s return leg in Ohio.

Columbus will head into that contest confident of progressing after carving out a series of goalscoring chances against Houston in Wednesday’s away leg.

Crew hit the woodwork twice in the first half and also saw a Christian Ramirez goal harshly ruled out for offside in the 74th minute after an intervention by VAR.

In other Champions Cup games on Wednesday, New England Revolution put one foot in the quarter-finals after a thumping 4-0 first leg win over Costa Rica’s Alajuelense.

Alajuelense looked to be in control early on against a hesitant New England side, but the home team took the lead on 28 minutes when Nick Lima swept in a DeJuan Jones cross.

Argentine winger Tomas Chancalay made it 2-0 on 41 minutes with a crisp low finish before doubling his tally for the night from the penalty spot in the 50th minute.

Esmir Bajraktarevic completed the scoring five minutes later, rounding off a deft passing move to seal an emphatic win.

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