Jaime Moreno scored on a cross from close range in the 68th minute to give defending champion D.C. United a 1-0 win over Olimpia Honduras in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup in Las Vegas, Nev.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first half, despite several quality opportunities by both squads. In the 14th minute, Roy Lassiter was freed on the left flank after Richie Williams won a tackle. Lassiter's blast from 20 yards out was parried away by Olimpia's Argentinean-born keeper, Carlos Prono.
On the resultant corner, Marco Etcheverry found countryman Moreno at the top of the six-yard box, but Moreno's powerful header slammed off the crossbar. Just minutes later, Moreno created another chance, sending defender Diego Sonora down the right flank. Sonora dribbled to the end line before lofting a cross to the far side of the box, exposing Prono and finding midfielder Ben Olsen. However, Olsen's crisp header is cleared off the line by Olimpia defender Jorge Caballero.
On the stadium's narrow field, Olimpia's speed on the flanks posed a real danger to the D.C. defense. Olimpia's forwards put a great deal of pressure on the United defense, trying to force turnovers and to eliminate clean passing lanes. The Olimpia defense played tightly in the first half, keeping the United attackers closely marked. Caballero was Olimpia's standout player in the first half, charged with the unenviable task of keeping Moreno and Lassiter under wraps.
Moreno finally got the go-ahead goal for D.C. United in the 68th minute. After receiving the ball from Etcheverry, Talley, a second-half substitute, worked the ball deep along the right flank before firing a hard, low cross. Slipping behind the Olimpia defense, Moreno ran onto Talley's cross and struck the ball with the outside of his right foot, sending the ball past Prono and into the net for what would prove to be the game's only goal.
The United defense held fast for the remainder of the game, despite some intense offensive pressure by Olimpia. The Honduran squad had an excellent opportunity to send the game to penalty kicks when Presthus fouled forward Wilmer Velasquez inside the penalty area late in injury time.
The United keeper faced a penalty kick by former United and San Jose Clash defender Arnold Cruz. Despite Cruz' low shot to the right-hand side of the net, Presthus was able to stop and smother the ball for the win.
The win set up a date Friday, Oct. 1, at 8:00 p.m. PT with Necaxa of Mexico in the semifinals.
Necaxa held off Costa Rican champion Saprissa, 3-2, to give Mexican clubs a split with Costa Rican teams.
Alajuela of Costa Rica upset Toluca to advance to the semifinals, where it meets MLS champion Chicago on Friday at 6:00 p.m. PT.
All games are being televised live on Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol.
Sept. 29 in Las Vegas, Nev.
D.C. United (USA) 1 Olimpia (Honduras) 0. Goal: Moreno 68.
D.C. United -- Presthus, Sonora, Agoos, Llamosa, Pope, Richie Williams, Olsen, Maessner (Talley, 58), Etcheverry, Moreno, Lassiter.
Olimpia -- Prono, Memberno, Serrano (J.L. Pineda, 81), Rudy Williams, Caballero, Espinoza, Denilson Costa, A.Pineda (Tilguanih, 70), Cruz, Renau (Fernandez, 70), Velasquez.
Sept. 29 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Necaxa (Mexico) 3 Saprissa (Costa Rica) 2. Goals: Delgado 14, 64, Vasquez 37; Bryce 58, Centeno 89.
Necaxa -- Pineda, Montes de Oca, Cabrera, Almaguer (Velasquez, 83), Hernandez (Higareda, 78), Vigna (Ambriz, 68), Villa, Vasquez, Aguinaga, Olivia, Delgado.
Saprissa -- Porras, Row, Cordero, Fonseca, Campos (Jose Torres, 88), J.Drummond, Centeno, Bryce (Solis, 68), Quesada (Martinez, 76), Mahia, G.Drummond.
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