Tuesday’s big result in CONCACAF Champions League saw Santos Laguna drop points in Guatemala to Municipal. The 2-2 drawn redefined the race at the top of Group B, with Santos now in danger of losing their group to Columbus.
That makes the Crew Tuesday night’s big winners, but they aren’t the only ones standing a bit taller after the first day of CCL’s third round. Monterrey, in particular, took another step forward, affirming their place at the top of Group C.
Here’s how the eight clubs who contested Tuesday’s matches fared, looking back on the results almost a day later.
Columbus Crew - After an expected but convincing result against Joe Public, Columbus find Group B's first place within their grasp. Santos Laguna’s unexpected draw in Guatemala leaves the Crew one point behind the Guerreros with their remaining match against the Mexican power taking place in Ohio next Tuesday. Then, the Crew will need a win, but having taken Santos to the brink in Round 2’s trip to Mexico (a 1-0 loss), Columbus has reason to think themselves capable of scoring MLS’s first group win.
Monterrey - Their 2-0 home win over Marathón can been looked at as merely treading water, but Santos’s trip to Guatemala showed nothing can be taken for granted. Monterrey is perfect through three rounds of a tough group and should be able to cruise through this remainder of this phase without distracting themselves from the Apertura.
Municipal - A late penalty kick from Carlos Castillo gets Municipal an unexpected point, drawing Santos 2-2, but little has improved for the Guatemalans after Tuesday’s results. They sit four back of second place Columbus, so they’ll need help to pass the Crew, even if they get three points from them at the Mateo Flores. Tuesday night’s was a good point, but it did little to change the race for second place.
Deportivo Saprissa - Playing most of their match with Seattle up a man, Saprissa ultimately held serve, getting three points from the Sounders to move into sole possession of Group C’s second place. The key match for the Costa Ricans remains next week’s trip to Honduras, where a win would put them six up (with two to play) on Marathón.
Marathon- Likewise, Marathón stays on-course despite losing 2-0 at Monterrey. They should have never expected points at the Technologico, and only three back of Saprissa, a win next Wednesday pulls them back into the race for second place. Unfortunately, their 4-1 loss in Costa Rica means the Hondurans have to be worried about more than merely winning.
Santos Laguna - Losing Group B is now a possibility, if not a probability. They barely beat Columbus at home, and while that may have awaken Santos ahead of next Tuesday’s trip to Ohio, it may also portend a Crew home victory. Even with Municipal’s strong Tuesday showing, Columbus should be slight favorites to get three points in Guatemala, which means Santos must get at least one point next week; else, they lose control of the group. It will be interesting to see if this effects the Warriors’ weekend selection, with Santos hosting recently promoted Necaxa.
Joe Public - The Trinidadians where unable to replicate their draw in Guatemala, with their injuries and suspensions proving too much to overcome over 90 minutes. While Joe Public’s descended to the bottom of Group B is not surprising, their loss at Columbus still finds them falling farther out of the competition.
Seattle - The only team in the competition without a point, it’s time for Seattle to move on. Math says they still have a chance, but having work to do in MLS, Sigi Schmid needs to be pragmatic.