Monterrey cruises past Atlanta United into CCL semifinals

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Azael Rodriguez
The MLS side couldn't close the gap on the Liga MX giants after a disastrous first leg, leaving Sporting Kansas City as the league's last hope

Atlanta United couldn't pull off the miracle the club needed to advance to the Concacaf Champions League semifinals on Wednesday, winning 1-0 on the night but losing out 3-1 on aggregate to Liga MX club Monterrey.  

The defending MLS Cup winners came into the match three goals down following a disastrous first leg in Mexico, where the Five Stripes fell 3-0 to Liga MX giants Monterrey.  

But any dreams of a second-leg turnaround at home have now been dashed, with Atlanta only able to manage a 1-0 win in the club's home leg. 

That result sees the Five Stripes bounced out of the CCL, leaving just one MLS side still in contention for the title.   

Atlanta had a number of chances to climb back into the tie, with Monterrey goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero​ coming up with a massive save to deny Josef Martinez in the early going as the MLS outfit looked to get off to a dream start. 

Martinez was played through on goal just nine minutes into the match and tried to slip the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper, who got down well to palm it away. 

 

Gonzalo "Pity" Martínez also put in a strong showing for Atlanta, putting in a number of dangerous chances only to see them either fly high of the mark or be pushed aside by Barovero. 

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Josef Martínez​ did finally break the deadlock in the 77th minute, finishing off a Darlington Nagbe pass to get the home side on the board, but it was nowhere near enough to see the club move on in the competition. 

Atlanta joins the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo as MLS teams to have been knocked out of the competition, with Sporting Kansas City now the league's last hope at glory in the competition. 

Sporting trails Panama's Independiente​ 2-1 heading into Thursday's second leg in Kansas City. 

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