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CONCACAF Champions League: Monterrey pulls level with Columbus Crew

Mar 31, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; A view of the MLS logo on the official game ball prior to the game of the Vancouver Whitecaps against the Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 31, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; A view of the MLS logo on the official game ball prior to the game of the Vancouver Whitecaps against the Columbus Crew SC at MAPFRE Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Alvarado’s goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time lifted Monterrey of Mexico to a 2-2 tie with the host Columbus Crew in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series.

The two-leg, total-goal set will conclude May 5 in Guadalupe, Mexico.

An unmarked Alvarado headed home a looping cross from Dorlan Pabon to level the score.

In the 65th minute, Columbus’ Lucas Zelarayan kept the ball in play with some fancy footwork on the end line before sending in a cross that ricocheted to Milton Valenzuela, who converted a left-footed shot from 10 yards out.

Zelarayan scored on a low 12-yard shot in the 87th minute to give Columbus a short-lived lead.

Monterrey’s Ake Arnaud Loba opened the scoring in the ninth minute, rolling a 15-yard shot through the legs of Columbus defender Aboubacar Keita and inside the far post.

The Monterrey-Columbus winner will oppose Cruz Azul or Toronto FC in the semifinals.

The last quarterfinal series was set to open later Wednesday night, with the Portland Timbers playing host to Mexico’s Club America in the first leg.

–Field Level Media