Crew fall to Pachuca 3-0 in CONCACAF Champions Cup Final

PACHUCA, Mexico (WCMH) — The Columbus Crew’s run in the CONCACAF Champions Cup ended in defeat as the Black & Gold fell to C.F. Pachuca 3-0 in the final on Saturday night.

The Black & Gold were outclassed in its first final in a continental competition as Pachuca dominated the match. Los Tuzos took a quick 2-0 lead in the first half and never looked back, adding a third goal in the second half to win its sixth CONCACAF Champions Cup. Pachuca striker Salomon Rondon scored twice to end the tournament with nine goals.

The victory for Pachuca clinched them a spot in the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup in the United States. The Crew’s silver medal still ranks as the club’s best performance in a single-elimination cup tournament since winning the 2002 U.S. Open Cup.

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Columbus’ star striker Cucho Hernandez featured in the starting lineup after a back injury kept him out for the past three MLS games. Hernandez was joined by Diego Rossi and Alex Matan in the front three.

Both teams came out of the gates with high energy, despite Estadio Hidalgo sitting nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, generating good attacking chances within the first 10 minutes.

Pachuca struck first as the tournament’s top scorer Salomon Rondon chipped one over Patrick Schulte in the 12th minute to make it 1-0. That goal was Rondon’s eighth of the tournament. Just two minutes later, Los Tuzos went through on goal again as Oussama Idrissi tapped in a Rondon cross, seemingly doubling its lead.

But a VAR review showed Rondon fouling Rudy Camacho on his run towards goal and the official reversing the goal. Pachuca was able to carry momentum throughout much of the first half as Columbus could not implement its possession style to control the pace of play.

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Pachuca ended up doubling its lead in the 32nd minute as the Mexican side started a counter attack after a missed Hernandez shot. Erick Sanchez led the attack and laid off a pass to Miguel Rodriguez, who smashed one past Schulte.

Columbus was not able to get into a groove at the start of the second half with Schulte coming to the rescue to make two big saves within the first eight minutes. The Crew keeper continued to make incredible saves throughout the second half and keep the deficit at just two goals.

The second half was more of the same with Pachuca dominating attacking play and the Black & Gold unable to create good goalscoring chances. Los Tuzos had more than double the shots the Crew managed in the game.

Pachuca got the deserved third goal in the 68th minute as Rondon pirouetted in the box to open a shot and slot one past Schulte, giving him nine goals for the tournament.

The victory sealed the first CONCACAF Champions Cup title for Pachuca since 2017. They also will play at the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup in the United States, joining Monterrey, Seattle Sounders, and Club Leon as the ex-CONCACAF winners to play in the tournament. One more MLS team will qualify for the tournament.

The Crew’s summer focus will now shift to MLS play as the team returns to the pitch on June 14 at New York City FC. Columbus will also play in the Leagues Cup later in the summer, having already booked a place in the round of 32 as the defending MLS Cup champions.

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