Mexican side Pumas UNAM sent the New England Revolution crashing out of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday, overturning a 3-0 first-leg deficit before winning on penalties to book their place in the semi-finals of the regional club tournament.
New England, bidding to join fellow Major League Soccer side New York City in the last four, were left shellshocked by a rampant Pumas at Mexico City’s Estadio Olimpico.
A goal in each half from Pumas striker Juan Dinenno raised hopes of an improbable comeback before Sebastian Saucedo lashed a strike into the roof of the net at the 59 minute mark to make it 3-0 on the night, 3-3 on aggregate.
Both teams had chances to snatch victory in a frenetic closing passage of play, with New England’s Omar Gonzalez seeing a header saved at point blank in stoppage time by Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.
With no extra time, the game went straight to penalties.
New England’s Sebastian Lletget handed the initiative to Pumas after blazing his team’s fourth penalty over the bar to leave the shoot-out at 2-2.
Nicolas Freire then scored to put Pumas 3-2 ahead, and although US international Jozy Altidore levelled with his team’s fifth kick, Dinenno stepped up to fire the Mexican side into the semi-finals, winning the shoot-out 4-3.
The defeat capped a disappointing night for MLS sides in the tournament, the premier club competition for teams from Central America, North America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF).
Earlier, Montreal were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Liga-MX side Cruz Azul, who went through to the semi-finals 2-1 on aggregate.
No team from Major League Soccer has won the CONCACAF title since Los Angeles Galaxy lifted the crown in 2000.
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