Union and St. Louis City Triumph in First Legs of CONCACAF Champions Cup

Union and St. Louis City Triumph in First Legs of CONCACAF Champions Cup

Philadelphia Union Win

San Jose, February 21 (BollywoodFever): Julian Carranza’s remarkable second-half hat trick propelled the Philadelphia Union to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Saprissa in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup first-round series, held in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime due to a 28th-minute own goal by Jakob Glesnes, the Union staged a remarkable comeback. 

Carranza drew them level with a powerful header in the 55th minute before putting them ahead with a clinical finish following an impressive team passing sequence in the 75th minute.

Just four minutes later, Philadelphia’s Quinn Sullivan initiated a swift counterattack down the right flank, setting up Daniel Gazdag, who then cleverly laid off the ball for Carranza to net his third goal from 12 yards out.

Although Saprissa managed to narrow the deficit with Gerald Taylor’s late goal in the 90th minute, the Union secured a crucial advantage heading into the second leg.

The finale of this two-leg, total-goal series is set for February 27th in Chester, Pennsylvania, with both teams competing for the opportunity to face Mexico’s Pachuca in the round of 16.

Union and St. Louis City Triumph in First Legs of CONCACAF Champions Cup

St. Louis City Triumph

Hosei Kijima became the hero of the match with his 90th-minute goal, securing victory for the home team, St. Louis City, against Houston in the opening leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup first-round series. 

The game started with Tim Parker scoring for St. Louis, only for Sebastian Kowalczyk of Houston to equalize in the second half.

The two teams will clash again on February 27th in Houston to conclude the two-leg series, with the winner advancing to face the reigning MLS Cup champion, Columbus Crew, in the round of 16.

Kijima’s decisive goal came from a scramble in the 6-yard box, capitalizing on a defensive error by Dynamo to slot the ball past the goalkeeper. 

Earlier in the match, Indiana Vassilev’s well-placed free kick found Parker, who headed it into the net to give St. Louis the lead. However, Houston fought back when Ibrahim Aliyu set up Kowalczyk for the equalizer, ensuring a tense finale to the game.

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