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New York into CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals

Guatemala City (AFP) – New York City FC booked their place in the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday, advancing on away goals after a nerve-jangling 4-2 defeat to Guatemala’s Comunicaciones.

Major League Soccer champions City, 3-1 up from the home leg last week, looked to be cruising into the last four after Taty Castellanos fired them into a 1-0 lead with a crucial away goal from a free-kick on 31 minutes.

Andres Lezcano got Comunicaciones back on level terms just before the interval, but Talles Magno restored City’s advantage to lead 2-1, 5-2 on aggregate.

But Comunicaciones came roaring back in a frenetic late rally at Guatemala City’s National Stadium.

Nicolas Samayoa bundled in from close range on 69 minutes to make it 2-2, and then three minutes later Lynner Garcia tapped in to put the Guatemalans 3-2 ahead on the night.

Jose Contreras then drove in a long-range thunderbolt in the 88th minute to make it 5-5 on aggregate, but City held firm in a frantic final few minutes to advance to the last four.

New York will face either MLS rivals the Seattle Sounders or Club Leon of Mexico in the semi-finals. Seattle, 3-0 winners of their first leg last week, take on Leon on Wednesday.

New York spearhead a quartet of MLS teams in the last eight of the tournament, the premier club competition for sides from Central America, North America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF).

No team from Major League Soccer has won the CONCACAF title since Los Angeles Galaxy lifted the crown in 2000.

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