CLUB AMERICA SEALS PLAYOFF SPOT
Third-place Club America (8W-3D-5L, 27 points) became the third team clinch a place in the 2017 Liga MX Apertura playoffs, playing visitor Puebla (3-7-6, 16) to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Mateus Uribe gave the host a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute, when his right-footed shot from 24-yards out went through the hands and legs of goalkeeper Moises Muñoz, a former Club America star. Puebla leveled with seven minutes left in normal time thanks to Felix Micolta’s header off Carlos Gutierrez’s left-sided corner kick.
DYNAMIC DYNAMO ADVANCE IN MLS CUP PLAYOFFS
The visiting Houston Dynamo progressed to 2017 the Major League Soccer Western Conference final with a comeback 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers .Sunday evening, capturing the series by the same score. After Dairon Asprilla (39’) gave the host a 1-0 lead, Houston defender Dylan Remick – in his first-ever postseason game -- leveled in the 43rd minute off a side volley to the top corner of the far post. Forward Mauro Manotas’ 25-yard strike in the 76th minute settled matters. The Dynamo will meet Seattle Sounders FC for a place in the MLS Cup final.
CARAGLIO DOUBLE KEEPS ATLAS ON PLAYOFF PACE
Milton Caraglio (29’, 59’ pen) scored both goals as Atlas (7-3-6, 24) earned a 2-1 win at host Guadalajara (3-6-7, 15) on Saturday. The Rojinegros, who are ahead of Cruz Azul on goal difference, finished the weekend in eighth place and would be in the 2017 Liga MX Apertura playoffs if the season ended today.
MORA NETS BRACE, CRUZ AZUL STAYS IN PLAYOFF RECKONING
Ninth-place Cruz Azul (6-6-4, 24, GD-1) ended the weekend as one of three teams on 24 points on the strength of a 2-1 victory over host Morelia on Friday. Felipe Mora (4’, 28’) scored both goals in a winning effort. The other teams with 24 points – Necaxa (GD+5) and Atlas (GD+4) – currently occupy seventh and eighth place, respectively, thanks to superior goal difference.
FERREIRA FUELS ALIANZA
Dario Ferreira (14’, 31’) scored two goals and first-place Alianza (11-7-0, 40) remained unbeaten in the 2017 Salvadoran Apertura with a 3-2 win over host Audaz. The Albos, which have a nine-point lead over second-place Santa Tecla, also got a goal from Gustavo Guerreño.
OLIMPIA GOES TOP IN HONDURAS
A 3-0 win over visiting Platense on Sunday meant that recently-crowned 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League champion Olimpia (8-4-3, 28, GD+11) completed weekend play atop the 2017 Honduran Apertura table on goal difference over Marathon (9-1-5, 28, GD+2). Roger Rojas (54’, 81’), the SCL’s Golden Boot winner with five goals, netted the Leones’ last two goals, after Carlos Will Mejia (37’ pen) netted from the penalty spot in the first half. Olimpia and Marathon are slated to meet on Wednesday at the Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino.
LANDIN HANDS HEREDIANO LIFELINE
Luis Landin’s 70th-minute goal gave first-place Herediano (14-5-0, 47) a 1-1 draw with host Saprissa on Sunday. The result extended the Florenses’ unbeaten streak to open the 2017 Costa Rican Invierno to 19 games. Saprissa took a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute through Marvin Angulo, who found the back of the net from the top-right corner of the six-yard box.
TORONTO FC SURVIVES NEW YORK RED BULLS CHALLENGE
Despite a 1-0 loss to the visiting New York Red Bulls on Sunday, top-seeded Toronto FC earned a place in the MLS Eastern Conference final on the away-goals rule after their two-legged series ended 2-2. Bradley Wright Phillips (53’) scored the only goal in an encounter that saw U.S. internationals Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) and Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) be ejected for violent conduct as a result of a tunnel scuffle at halftime. Toronto FC will face Columbus Crew SC for a berth in the MLS Cup final.