Columbus Crew keep MLS’ Champions Cup hopes alive with leg one semifinal win vs. Monterrey

Jacen Russell-Rowe contributed the winning goal and an assist as the host Columbus Crew earned a 2-1 victory over Monterrey on Wednesday in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions Cup semifinal series.

The two-leg series will conclude on May 1 in Mexico.

Russell-Rowe headed home the winner in the 72nd minute after setting up Cucho Hernandez's goal in the 25th minute. Monterrey had pulled level on a goal from Maximiliano Meza in the 58th minute.

In the first half, Hernandez scored on a nice 1-2 passing sequence with Russell-Rowe. In traffic at midfield, Hernandez tapped a short pass to Russell-Rowe, who immediately slipped a return ball as Hernandez raced toward the top of the 18-yard box. Hernandez fired a low, right-footed shot in the bottom left corner.

Early in the second half, Monterrey's Jesus Gallardo corralled a long pass down the left flank on a counterattack and dribbled into the penalty area. He chipped a cross through the 6-yard box, and Meza had a simple tap-in at the far post.

The decisive play started with a corner kick from Columbus' Diego Rossi. Sean Zawadzki flicked a header from the near post to the back post, where Russell-Rowe charged in to send the ball into the net.

The other semifinal series began Tuesday, with Pachuca and host Club America playing to a 1-1 draw in an all-Mexican matchup.

Columbus Crew vs Monterrey highlights

--Field Level Media

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