Another year, another CONCACAF Champions League sigh for a favored MLS team.
FC Dallas fell victim to a CCL shock on Wednesday night, beating Tauro FC 3-2 in the second leg but falling on the away goal tiebreaker to Panama's eighth-placed team. FCD entered the night in O.K. shape, having fallen 1-0 at Tauro in the opening leg. The urgency ratcheted up in the 15th minute, though, when Tauro netted an away goal from Edwin Aguilar, meaning FCD needed three goals in the final 75 minutes while blanking Tauro the rest of the way to advance.
The MLS side got one from Maxi Urruti in the 32nd minute to restore hope, but that was thrashed just before halftime, when Jesus Gonzalez struck for the visitors. Dallas's Mauro Diaz scored in the 50th minute, and Cristian Colman made it interesting in stoppage time, but it served as just another case of too little, too late for an MLS side in the continental competition.
The loss knocks a second MLS team out of the competition, with the Colorado Rapids being eliminated by MLS Cup champion Toronto FC. The reward for the Reds is a date with Liga MX champion Tigres UANL in a quarterfinal fit for a title bout.
Tigres' fellow Liga MX participants had no trouble advancing, with Tijuana edging Honduras's Motagua 2-1, Chivas Guadalajara destroying Dominican Republic's Cibao 7-0 and Club America thrashing Costa Rican power Saprissa 6-2 on aggregate. Any potential drama in America's second leg was zapped by this stunning first-minute strike from Darwin Quintero.
The quarterfinals are shaping up as follows, with two more MLS teams having their fate hanging in the balance Thursday night:
Toronto FC vs. Tigres UANL
Club America vs. Tauro
Club Tijuana vs. Olimpia/New York Red Bulls
Chivas vs. Santa Tecla/Seattle Sounders
The Red Bulls have an away-goal edge after a 1-1 draw at Olimpia in the first leg, while the Sounders have some work to do after falling 2-1 at Santa Tecla. Both will surely hope to avoid the fate suffered by FC Dallas–elimination at the hands of a non-Liga MX competitor.