Columbus Crew advance to Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Crew advanced to the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals after beating Real Esteli FC 5-0 on aggregate.

Columbus beat Real Esteli FC 1-0 on Thursday and beat them 4-0 last week in Nicaragua to advance. The Crew played conservatively in the 2nd leg knowing they didn’t need to score any goals in order to advance, but they were able to get one in the 86th minute when Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his first goal as a member of the Columbus Crew. The 36-year-old veteran has now scored for eight different teams.

Columbus is the 5th Major League Soccer team to advance in the 2021 tournament, which is the most MLS teams to ever advance in the same quarterfinals.

But the win was overshadowed by a leg injury Aiden Morris suffered in the first half. Morris is a homegrown product who played for Crew SC Academy from 2017-2019. The 21-year-old Morris played at Indiana University for one season before signing with the Crew on January 14, 2020.

Morris came out of the locker room on crutches and the extent of his injury in unknown at this time.

The Crew will face the winner of Monterrey and Athletico Pantoja. Monterrey won the first leg 3-0 and the two teams are playing Thursday at 10:00 p.m. The quarterfinals start April 27 and wrap up May 6. Prior to that, Columbus will begin its MLS Cup title defense when they host Philadelphia in the last season at Historic Crew Stadium.

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