CONCACAF Champions League 2011, Matchday 6: Pumas Win Group C, Santos Laguna Take Group B

With their playoff fates sealed in Major League Soccer, Toronto FC and FC Dallas are playing their best teams as they fight for a place in the CCL knockout stage

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Herediano Vs. Comunicaciones, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Herediano Win Meaningless Match

Wednesday's match between Herediano and Comunicaciones didn't mean a thing. It doesn't matter that it was a CONCACAF Champions League match. It really did not mean anything at all. Monterrey had already clinched first place in Group D and Seattle had second place. Herediano were already locked into last place in the group and Comunicaciones third place. The two teams were only playing because the schedule mandated that they do, but if you have to play it's always nice to win and Herediano got to be on the smiling side of the scoreboard as they topped their Guatemalan visitors 4-1.

Comunicaciones were actually the quick starters, getting a Carlos Mejia goal in the sixth minute, but then Jorge Barbosa got involved for Herediano. He struck in the 13th and 41st minutes to give the hosts a 2-0 halftime lead. Cristian Montero put the match on ice just three minutes into the second half, but Jose Cordero came off the bench to add one more just for fun as Herediano got to exit the competition on a win at least.


UNAM Pumas Vs. Tauro FC, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Pumas Win To Top Group

Toronto already defeated Dallas on the final match day to clinch one of the top two spots in Group C and advancement in the CONCACAF Champions League, but the second spot was still up for grabs. Tauro could edge out UNAM Pumas for the second advancement spot with a win in Mexico on Wednesday night, but it was not to be. Pumas were able to do just enough to pick up a 1-0 win to win Group C and eliminate the Panamanian side.

The lone goal of the match came just before the halftime break when Martin Bravo spotted Juan Cacho and crossed for the striker. Cacho was first to the cross and he nodded the ball home for the go-ahead goal. That goal would prove to be the winning goal as Pumas held on for the victory. It leaves them on 11 points for the group stage, one ahead of Toronto who will also advance from Group C, but they will do so as runners up, while Pumas are the winners.


Monarcas Morelia Vs. Alajuelense, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Morelia Book Quarterfinal Place

Alajuelense were in control of their own destiny. A result against Monarcas Morelia on Tuesday and they would win Group A of the CONCACAF Champions League. A win? That would have worked. A draw? That would have worked too. Any result at all would do the job. Instead, they blew a one-goal lead, handing Morelia the three points and clinching a spot for the Mexican side in the knockout stages. Now, if the LA Galaxy win on Thursday Alajuelense is out of the competition, an awful scenario for a team that two hours earlier were in complete control.

Pablo Gabas put the visitors in front after 36 minutes. It was the goal that Alajuelense thought would at least earn them a draw and a spot in the knockout stages, but then Morelia came battling back in the second half. First, Joao Rojas scored off of a pass from Manuel Perez 10 minutes into the second stanza, then Miguel Sabah won it for Morelia with a header that beat Patrick Pemberton and Alajuelense were in trouble.

While Alajuelense are in trouble because they are dependent on Motagua beating the Galaxy on Thursday, Morelia is safe. They have clinched a spot in the quarterfinals and if the Galaxy win, they will likely win Group A. If the Galaxy lose or draw to Motagua though, Alajuelense goes through and as group winners. Oh, the joy of tournament football.


FC Dallas Vs. Toronto FC, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Full Time, TFC Advances As Joao Plata Puts On A Show

FC Dallas only needed a draw against Toronto FC to advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, but that didn't look line a possibility after the first 30 minutes of the game. Brek Shea put in a brilliant first half performance for FCD, but he was the only player who appeared to bring anywhere near his best for the home side. Winger Joao Plata put on a show for TFC, notching a two goals in an assist in a brilliant performance, as TFC defeated an abysmal Dallas team 3-0 to advance to the knockout stage.

In the 28th minute, Julian de Guzman played a great through ball to Plata, who cut the ball back for Danny Kovermans. He didn't make the best of his first shooting opportunity as Kevin Hartman saved easily, but no one was able to clear the rebound. Kovermans finished his second chance, giving TFC a 1-0 lead. Dallas looked strangely defeated, but complacent in their defeat. At 1-0 down. Against a poor team. At home. In the 28th minute.

Plata would add two goals of his own in the second half, scoring with great finishes in the 69th and 80th minute. Dallas hardly bothered to show up for the second half, and it would have been hard to imagine a scenario before the match in which Toronto FC would win so easily.

TFC now sit on top of Group C and await the result of the Tauro-UNAM Pumas match to see if they will finish first or second in the group.

For more on the game and the two teams, check out FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer and Toronto FC blog Waking The Red.


FC Dallas Vs. Toronto FC Live, 2011 CONCACAF Champions League: Lineups

FC Dallas and Toronto FC go into the final matchday of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage needing a result to advance. Toronto FC need a win at Pizza Hut Park to advance, while FC Dallas need just a draw. However, seeding is always important in the knockout stage, and FC Dallas can potentially finish ahead of UNAM Pumas to become a top seed in the quarterfinals if they get a win tonight. Here are the lineups.

FC Dallas Lineup (4-2-3-1): Kevin Hartman; Jeremy Hall, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd; Daniel Hernandez, Andrew Jacobson; Ricardo Villar, Brek Shea, Jackson; Marvin Chavez

Substitutes from: Danny Cruz, Bruno Guarda, Bobby Warshaw, Jack Stewart, Victor Ulloa, Chris Seitz, Ruben Luna

Toronto FC Lineup (4-3-3): Milos Kocic; Doneil Henry, Ty Harden, Andy Iro, Ashtone Morgan; Nick Soolsma, Torsten Frings, Julian de Guzman; Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans, Joao Plata

Substitutes from: Stefan Frei, Eddy Viator, Nathan Sturgis, Mikael Yourassowsky, Terry Dunfield, Gianluca Zavarise, Peri Marosevic

Kickoff is just after 8:00 pm ET from Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The game can be seen on Fox Soccer Channel and

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