Jamiro Monteiro’s penalty miss and Nicolás Benedetti’s second-half goal sealed Club América’s path to the Champions league final Wednesday night in a 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park. Henry Martín added a last-minute extra time goal to make it 2-0 on the night and 4-0 aggregate.
The Union were a step slow at the start while the visitors created more of the chances early while sitting back and attacking from the counter. The Union played catch up by accumulating fouls and yellow cards with Jakob Glesnes, Alejandro Bedoya, Jose’ Martinez, and Jamiro Monteiro picking up cautions in the first half.
The Union had their chances late in the first half, gaining momentum with several minutes of extended pressure. Cory Burke settled ball off his thigh from outside the six, but his shot was blocked over the bar. Two minutes later, Jakob Glesnes had a free header at the back post after sustained pressure from a corner, but his attempt also went over the bar. Martinez had a shot on goal from distance and Przybylko’s header from a wide angle was easily stopped by Ochoa.
The Union opened the second half picking up where they left off and earned a golden opportunity to climb back into the competition when Bruno Valdez took down Przybylko in the box following a penetrating run through the center of América’s defense. Valdez was given a yellow despite a clear goal-scoring denial, and the play was never given a video review. But Guillermo Ochoa pushed Monteiro’s penalty off the crossbar and the América defenders cleared it to safety.
Przybylko almost nicked a header five minutes later, but Ochoa came out to challenge the header and deflected it wide. The Union battled throughout the second half with intense pressure and physical play but were still a final pass away from pulling another goal back. Club América broke the Union’s momentum when Nicolás Benedetti scored on the counter in the seventy-ninth minute, sealing América’s path to the Champions league final. Martín added a late goal to finish off the game but by then the Union’s historic debut had already been finished.
AMÉ: Bendetti 79’
AMÉ: Martín 90’ + 3
PHI: Glesnes 19’
PHI: Bedoya 27’
PHI: Martinez 27’
PHI: Monteiro 45’ +1
AMÉ: Valdez 47’
AMÉ: J. Sánchez 72’
Union: Blake, Mbaizo (Gazdag 76’), Elliott, Glesnes, Wagner, Martinez, Bedoya (Mc Glynn 90’), Flach (Sullivan 90’), Monteiro (Aaronson 76’), Burke, Przybylko
Unused subs: Bendik, Findlay, Powell
Ochoa, J, Sánchez, Valdez, Aguilera, Reyes, Aquino, R. Sánchez (Madrigal 90’+ 1), Córdova (Benedetti 45’), Fidalgo (Cáceras 70’), Laínez, Martinez (Martin)
Unused subs: Jiménez, Fuentes, Viñas