Pachuca (pictured) gathers for a team photo prior to its Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, second leg against visiting FC Dallas on April 4, 2017, in Pachuca, Mexico. (Photo: Mexsport)
After going unbeaten in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League group stage and quarterfinals, Pachuca responded to a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas in their semifinal opener with a 3-1 win in the second leg to secure a place in the final.
SCCL SUMMARY (2016/17 Overall Record: W-5; D-2; L-1; GF-27; GA-7)
Pachuca needed to avoid a loss by two goals or more in the final Group E match against host Olimpia to seal progression to the quarterfinals. It proved to be a wild affair, but after giving back the lead on three occasions, the Tuzos escaped Tegucigalpa with a 4-4 draw. Pachuca opened play with three straight wins by a combined 15-0 score, including a record-setting 11-0 win at Police United.
In the quarterfinal, first leg at Saprissa, Pachuca was shutout for a first-ever time in SCCL play after 25 games in a 0-0 draw. Any potential doubts, however, were erased in the second leg at the Estadio Hidalgo as the Tuzos posted a 4-0 win.
The four-time CONCACAF club champion answered FC Dallas’ challenge in the semifinals. A 2-1 first-leg loss on the road was followed by a 3-1 win at home, as Hirving Lozano’s second goal of the game in the second minute of second-half stoppage time clinched progression.
Next up: Final, First Leg – away v Tigres (April 18, 2017)
Semifinal, Second Leg Highlights: Lozano brace lifts Pachuca past FC Dallas
2016/17 SCCL Crucial Instant
There really can only be one: Hirving Lozano’s second goal in the semifinal, second leg that gave host Pachuca a 3-1 win over FC Dallas to clinch the series, 4-3 on aggregate. With the game appeared heading to extra time, Lozano fired a shot from just outside the box. Teammate Victor Guzman’s attempt to get a foot on it seemed to mislead a pair of Dallas defenders. The ball then bounced once past sprawled goalkeeper Chris Seitz and nestled into the far right corner for Lozano’s ninth career SCCL goal.
Hirving Lozano: The 21-year-old is the competition’s top scorer with eight goals, also contributing two assists. Lozano is a difference maker of the highest order and has demonstrated an ability to step up when most needed.
Give credit to…
Franco Jara: The 28-year-old forward has been an eye-opener for the Tuzos, netting five goals, good for a tie for second on the scoring table. He has scored in three straight knockout-round matches to give Pachuca an offensive option if opponents choose to focus on Lozano.
Keep an eye on…
Omar Gonzalez: The United States international appeared in five SCCLs with the LA Galaxy, but never reached the final. Could this be the year that the 28-year-old defender brings home CONCACAF’s biggest club prize?
CONCACAF Club Honors
CONCACAF Champions Cup-3: 2002, 2007, 2008
Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League-1: 2009/10