Pachuca Sink Columbus To Win CONCACAF Champions Cup


Mexican side Pachuca won the CONCACAF Champions Cup for a sixth time on Saturday after outclassing Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew 3-0. Veteran striker Salomon Rondon scored twice either side of a Miguel Rodriguez effort to seal a deserved victory at Pachuca’s 30,000-capacity Estadio Hidalgo. Columbus entered the final in a confident mood after a superb campaign, which saw them eliminate Mexican sides UANL Tigres and Monterrey en route to Saturday’s showpiece. But the MLS champions were overwhelmed by a blistering start from Pachuca, who took the lead after just 12 minutes when Venezuelan international Rondon burst clear of the Columbus defence and chipped a deft finish over advancing goalkeeper Patrick Schulte.

Pachucha thought they had made it 2-0 moments later when Oussama Idrissi finished off another well-worked move that split the Columbus defence.

But the goal was overturned by referee Ivan Barton after an intervention from the VAR, which had spotted a foul in the build-up.

The reprieve was only fleeting for Columbus, however, with the MLS team struggling to cope with Pachuca’s superior movement off the ball.

Just after the half-hour mark, Rodriguez made it 2-0 to the home side, sweeping home an emphatic finish after Erick Sanchez’s cross.

Columbus had prepared for Saturday’s final — played some 7,959 feet (2,426 metres) above sea level — by installing altitude tents at their players’ homes and conducting workouts with the squad wearing elevation training masks.

But those attempts to acclimatise to the demanding local conditions appeared to have little noticeable effect on Saturday with Pachuca controlling play for long periods and carving out chances at will.

Only some superb play from Columbus goalkeeper Schulte prevented Pachuca from adding to their tally as the second half got under way with wave after wave of attacks by the Liga-MX side.

Eventually though, the Columbus resistance was broken again, with Rondon sweeping a low finish into the bottom corner on 67 minutes after good work down the left by Idrissi.

Rondon’s second goal made it 3-0 to the Mexicans and Columbus never looked remotely capable of overturning the deficit.

Pachuca’s win, meanwhile, continues Mexico’s long record of dominance in the tournament, the premier continental club competition for teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Mexican clubs have won 18 of the last 19 editions of the tournament.

Saturday’s win also means Pachuca have scooped the last CONCACAF qualifying berth for next year’s expanded FIFA Club World Cup, which is due to be staged in the United States.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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