- New York City FC holds a 3-1 lead heading into second leg away at CSD Comunicaciones
- Defending MLS Cup champion can be the first team to book a 2022 semifinal CONCACAF Champions League spot
- Read on for betting odds, a full preview and best bets for this Champions League clash
The second leg of the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League kick-off on Tuesday, March 15th, with the decisive match between New York City FC and CSD Comunicaciones of Guatemala. Holding a 3-1 advantage following the first leg, the Cityzens stand on the verge of the competition’s semifinals, and travel to Guatemala City hoping to punch their ticket.
Already facing their seventh match of the 2022 campaign, the defending MLS Cup champions have lost just once in their first six contests, wrapping up a decisive 6-0 aggregate win over Santos de Guapiles in the round-of-16. CSD Comunicaciones comes into this match having seen off the Colorado Rapids on penalties in the previous round and is riding a six-match unbeaten streak in the Guatemalan Clausura. That’s the kind of form that makes this match a potential banana skin for those bettors looking solely at the odds on offer.
NYCFC vs CSD Comunicaciones Odds
|NYCFC vs CSD Comunicaciones||NYC -0.5 (+102) | COM +0.5 (-136)||NYC +105 | COM +260 | DRAW +240||Ov 2.5 (-124) | Un 2.5 (-110)|
Odds as of March 14th at Barstool Sportsbook
City’s Championship Spirit
In winning its first MLS Cup last season, NYCFC showed that it has the ability to thrive in knockout cup competitions, and the early returns in the Champions League are seemingly no different.
— Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (@TheChampions) March 9, 2022
Ronny Deila’s team have scored nine goals and conceded just one in its second CONCACAF foray so far – it also reached the quarterfinals in 2020 – but it rode its luck to some degree in the first leg, getting the win despite being outshot 13-10 on the night.
— Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (@TheChampions) March 14, 2022
Of course, it helps when you have the defending MLS Golden Boot winner in your lineup. Valentin ‘Taty’ Castellanos scored the opener in last week’s first leg, registering his third CONCACAF Champions League goal in three games this season. But then the Argentine turned provider, setting up his team’s second and third goals to seal the two-goal advantage.
🇦🇷 Taty Castellanos is a game changer for #NYCFC and the Argentine was involved in all three goals during their Concacaf Champions League win last night.
⏱ 90 mins
⭐️ 9.20 FotMob rating
⚽️ 1 goal
🎯 3/5 shot accuracy
🤝 2 assists
👟 20/32 accurate passes
🔑 3 key passes pic.twitter.com/tTfJVqvlpE
— FotMob (@FotMob) March 9, 2022
But then Castellanos is just picking up from where he left off last season. He scored 19 goals in 32 appearances to win the Golden Boot, before adding three crucial goals, including the opening goal in MLS Cup, in three games in the MLS playoffs. It clearly wasn’t a fluke, and NYCFC will go as far as Castellanos can take it.
Breaking Out In The Bronx
As if the round-of-16 win over Santos wasn’t decisive enough, NYCFC also flashed its skill over the weekend, demolishing fellow CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinalists CF Montreal by a 4-1 scoreline.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) March 12, 2022
Coming on the heels of two straight scoreless MLS outings to begin the season, the Cityzens showed a ruthless streak in front of goal, with four different goalscorers finding the back of the net at Yankee Stadium in New York.
CSD Comunicaciones vs NYCFC 2022 League Stats
|6-2-3||2022 Domestic League Record||1-1-1|
The 60th-minute goal that Manuel Gamboa scored for Comunicaciones in the first leg could well come back to bite NYCFC this time around – a 2-0 home win would be enough to take the Guatemalans through to the final four. In that respect, the Cityzens will likely be wary of an opponent that managed to get a home win against Colorado in the last round, and ultimately eliminate the MLS team.
If that wasn’t enough to get New York City’s attention, the fact that Comunicaciones lead the Guatemalan league in scoring, with 24 goals scored in 11 games of the Clausura season so far. Chief among its attacking threats is former Chicago Fire striker Juan Anangongo, who scored six goals in 10 games in leading the team to the inaugural CONCACAF League title, but he has yet to score in three Champions League games this year.
Comunicaciones would also be in first place if it could win its game in hand too, so Los Cremas, as the team is called, are certainly in good form entering Tuesday’s contest.
Best bet: Draw (+240)