CONCACAF Champions Cup tiebreaker favors Houston Dynamo, who advance to Round of 16

ByMatt Guillermo KTRK logo
Thursday, February 29, 2024
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Dynamo had to work the late shift on Tuesday night, but it was worth it for them and the club's 5,000 fans at Shell Energy Stadium.

Erik Sviatchenko's 60th-minute goal after a set-piece situation was the only score in the second match of Houston's first-round series against St. Louis City S.C., which was enough to send the Dynamo to the Round of 16 in the CONCACAF Champions Cup tournament.

The match began at 9:30 p.m. CT.

Houston entered Tuesday's match with a 2-1 goal deficit from its first-leg match in St. Louis the week prior.

The tournament works on aggregate scoring between two matches, meaning the greater cumulative goals scored between both sides will determine who advances.

After the 90 minutes were played Tuesday, Houston and St. Louis were level at two goals a piece, but the Dynamo had an ace up their sleeve.

The CONCACAF Champions Cup's first tiebreaker is determined by away goals scored. Only one was netted between the two clubs, and it belonged to Houston, which Sebastian Kowalczyk scored last Tuesday in St. Louis.

Had Houston and St. Louis' second leg ended in a 2-1 game with the Dynamo ahead, both teams would have played extra time with a potential penalty shootout to determine the winner.

The tiebreakers are in effect through the tourney's semifinals.

So, Houston moves on in the 27-club tournament filled with teams from Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and the U.S.

Who awaits the Dynamo? That would be the reigning MLS Cup champions, the Columbus Crew, who earned a pre-seeded bye into the Round of 16.

The first leg is set for Wednesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. at Shell Energy Stadium. The series then moves to Columbus' Lower.com Field on Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m.

The Houston-Columbus winner will move on to the quarterfinal round to face the winner of Orlando City S.C. vs. Tigres UANL.

Meanwhile, Houston still has to tend to Major League Soccer matters. The club, which holds one point after their season-opening draw with Sporting Kansas City, hosts the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 2. The Dynamo's next MLS match after clearing the two Crew matches is on Saturday, March 16, at home against the Portland Timbers.

Houston Dynamo defender Erik Sviatchenko (28) during an MLS soccer match on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Houston.
AP Photo/Matt Patterson