NYCFC Goals: Callens 41'
AD San Carlos Goals:
NYCFC advance 6-3 on aggregate.
New York City FC advanced to the last eight of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League on Wednesday night, defeating AD San Carlos 6-3 on aggregate.
Alexander Callens headed the only goal of the night at Red Bull Arena in the 41st minute, meaning NYCFC will meet Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals after the Liga MX side overcame Alianza in the night’s other game.
NYCFC Head Coach Ronny Deila made two changes to the team which kicked off 2020 with a 5-3 win in the first leg of this CCL tie last week, bringing in Maxi Moralez and Valentin Castellanos to his XI.
A hat-trick from Héber and goals from Callens and Alexandru Mitriță had put NYCFC in a commanding position after the first 90' but there was still plenty of work to do in Harrison in the second leg.
Deila called for a strong start from his team to kill the tie in his pre-match press conference and his side delivered everything but the early goal, going close twice with headers from Alex Callens on 9' and Valentin Castellanos on 29' in a one-sided first half.
Mitriță forced Pemberton's first big save of the night when Maxi Moralez slid him through on goal on 34' but the San Carlos 'keeper spread himself well and made the stop.
Just when it looked as though NYC dominance would go unrewarded for the first 45', Callens repeated his trick from the first leg, rising highest to meet a corner and scoring his fifth goal for the Club with four minutes of the first half remaining.
6-3 to the good coming out for the second half, City were able to control the early minutes of the second half and continued to look threatening when working the ball forward.
Deila gave valuable minutes to Sebastien Ibeagha and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi with 25' to go, but it was Jesus Medina who went closest to finding the second goal of the night when the Paraguayan capitalized on some uncertainty in the San Carlos backline to almost poke home - however, Pemberton was there to scramble up the loose ball on the line to keep it 1-0 on the night.
Gary Mackay-Steven came into the game late and was the center of one moment of controversy as he was scythed down on the halfway line by a feisty challenge in the closing minutes but fortunately, the winger avoided injury.
1-0 was how it stayed, meaning City advances from a two-legged knockout game for the first time and will be in the last eight of the Champions League.
Heineken Man of the Match
As voted on Twitter: Alexander Callens (52.4%)
How We Lined Up
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