Mexican offensive midfielder Jürgen Damm, who entered the second half, scored the only goal in the round of 16 match of the Concacaf Champions League that he Atlanta
United won this Tuesday 1-0 at Alajuelense and went to the quarters with a 2-0 aggregate in the series.
The Costa Rican team is not at its best playing moment, especially in the offensive section, where no one could overcome the well-studied defensive scheme set up by Argentine coach Gabriel Heinze, who makes his debut this season at the head of the American team.
With a line of five behind, Atlanta United did not leave spaces for the Alajuelense players, who tried to score the goal that would get them back in the tie, but it was not possible during a first half that ended with a 0-0 draw.
However, Heinze did not like everything he saw his compatriot Franco Ibarra do in the midfield, in terms of how to take advantage of the balls that could go out on the counterattack; And that was when he was right to make the change from Damm, which gave more depth to the offensive line, where the Venezuelan Joseph Martínez had been very alone, who this time was a starter.
The Argentine coach Andrés Carevic, responsible for Alajuelense, also tried to keep the goal defended by Mauricio Vargas at zero, who did a great job, and was on the verge of achieving it, but the great dilemma and problem for his team was the lack of definition.
Atlanta United did not stand out in that section either, but at least they achieved the two in the tie that gave them the victory and made the difference in their favor so that they can continue in the best Concacaf team competition.
The next rival that Atlanta United will have in the quarterfinals will come from the winner of the tie starring the Philadelphia Union, of the MLS, against the Costa Rican team of Deportivo Saprissa, who this Wednesday will play the second leg of the round of 16, with 0-1 win for the US team in the first leg.
1 – Atlanta United: Rocco Ríos Novo; Brooks Lennon, George Bello, Anton Walkes, Miles Robinson; Franco Ibarra (m.46, Jürgen Damm), Santiago Sosa; Emerson Hyndman, Marcelino Moreno, Ezequiel Barco; Joseph Martínez (d.66, Lisandro López).
Coach: Gabriel Heinze.
0 – Alajuelense: Mauricio Vargas; Yurguin Román (m.84, Geancarlo Castro), José Salvatierra (m.70, Alexis Gamboa), José Faerrón, Daniel Arreola, Junior Díaz; Adrián Martínez Batista, Bernald Alfaro, José Miguel Cubero, Brandon Aguilera (m.76, Aaron Suárez); and Jurguens Montenegro.
Coach: Andrés Carevic
Goal: 1-0, Jürgen Damm (m. 91)
Referee: Adonai Escobedo (Mexico). There were no reprimands.
Incidents: Second leg of the round of 16 of the Concacaf Champions League, which was played at the Fifth Third Bank Stadium, in Kennesaw (Georgia), without spectators.