CONCACAF Champions League roundup: Earthquakes, Olimpia still alive; Cruz Azul in pole position

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Impact won to help the Earthquakes out, while Olimpia and Cruz Azul took care of their own business.

Three groups will head into the final day with first place and a spot in the quarterfinals on the line after nobody managed to clinch on Tuesday night. Heredia could have sealed their spot in the knockout stages with just a draw, but they couldn't manage that, while Olimpia won to set up a winner-take-all contest on the final matchday. Cruz Azul couldn't win their group on Tuesday, but they did win their match to take control of their triplet.

Montreal Impact 2-0 Heredia

The Impact were already knocked out of the competition so they had little to play for and used only a handful of first choice players, but it was still enough to earn three points in their final Champions League match. Daniele Paponi put them in front after just three minutes after a bouncing ball in the box found him, then Andrew Wenger put the match to bed on the other side of the break when he was played in alone on goal and finished coolly.

The loss was a killer for Heredia, who had several chances to get level after going down a goal, but couldn't find an equalizer. In the end, though, Montreal got a deserved win, especially after dominating the second half, and now Heredia finds themselves set for a trip to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes on the final matchday needing a draw to advance. If they lose, their Champions League campaign is done and they will be left to rue their missed opportunities, first in Montreal and then in San Jose, where just a draw would see them book their place in the knockout stages.

Olimpia 1-0 Real Esteli

Sporting Kansas City turned their eyes towards Honduras, where a Real Esteli win or draw on Tuesday would see the American side through to the quarterfinals, but it was not to be. After a slew of chances went begging, including a disallowed goal, Anthony Lozano put Olimpia on top in the 66th minute when he got in behind the defense and rifled one home. Real Esteli had no chances of note and if Olimpia were better in front of goal they could have won by multiple goals, but three points was all they needed and that's what they got.

With Olimpia's win, Group 2 remains in the balance as the Hondurans move within just one point of first place Sporting heading into the final matchday. It's still an uphill climb for Olimpia, who will need to win in Kansas City to advance, but they are alive and Group 2 will come down to a since match on October 23.

Cruz Azul 3-0 Valencia

Cruz Azul entered Tuesday with a match in hand and they put that match to good use, crushing an overmatched Valencia side. A clever one-two put Achille Emana in on goal just six minutes in and he slid the ball home to put the favorites in front and 25 minutes he added another. He could have completed the hat trick from the penalty spot, but he wasn't chosen to take the spot kick, which was saved. Cruz Azul still had no problem with Valencia, creating chance after chance only to get miss or see it saved and Emana got his hat trick anyways with a rocket of a shot to cap a simple win for the Mexicans at home.

Group 3 is now down to its final matchday with Cruz Azul three points up on Herediano, but when the two sides square off on October 22, it will be in Costa Rica. Herediano will have to win 3-0 if they want to advance then so Cruz Azul certainly hold the upper hand, but with the match at home, Herediano are not quite out of it yet.

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