The Rundown: Crew host Houston Dynamo in first Concacaf Champions Cup match at Field. 

On the heels of two last-minute wins in the span of four days, the Columbus Crew return to Field tonight to host Houston Dynamo FC in the second leg of this Concacaf Champions Cup Round of 16 matchup. 

Here’s everything you need to know, from scenarios to advance, to how the Crew are approaching this significant matchup as the first Concacaf Champions Cup game at Field

How the Crew can advance in Concacaf Champions Cup

The Black & Gold enter the second leg of this Round of 16 matchup with a one-goal advantage. Last Wednesday night, Alexandru Mǎțan scored the game winner in the 96th minute to ensure Leg 1 belonged to the Crew. 

The goal was massive, though. Not only does this give Columbus a boost entering Tuesday night, but it was also a road goal – these count more if there’s a tiebreaker. 

Without further ado, here’s a look at scoreline scenarios and what the Crew need to do to advance.

If the match ends in a tie, Columbus advances – no matter the score – thanks to Mǎțan’s late finish. Should the Crew lose, 1-0, then the clubs would play in extra time. Essentially, so long as the Crew win or draw they are through to the next round. 

What Concacaf Champions Cup means to the Crew

The Columbus Crew have a very clear message: Playing in Concacaf Champions Cup is a privilege for the league champs, not a distraction. 

Addressing the media last month, President & General Manager, Tim Bezbatchenko said the Black & Gold are placing a priority on this competition that allows the team to compete on the continental stage. 

“The mission remains the same. We want to consistently contend for championships,” Bezbatchenko said. “We’re not just happy with the trophies in (the trophy case). We want to get more. Most importantly, we want to do it in our own way and our own style.

“For us, we know how special this city is, but to be able to play in these competitions and take Columbus global, we feel like it’s our responsibility and our mission, and we’re excited to be able to do that through the global game of soccer.”

Bezbatchenko also reiterated that, in addition for playing for continental superiority, Concacaf Champions Cup is a chance to qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup. That’s an opportunity this Club is embracing – even if it means a more congested schedule. 

“It’s an incredible opportunity and it’s why we play the game,” he said. 

The significance of Field hosting a Concacaf Champions Cup match

Yes, Houston is another MLS side, but this is still a big-time matchup on Tuesday night in the Ohio capital. 

“Once you step outside of MLS and you’re competing in a new competition where there’s no salary caps, you get to see a different style of play, and our players get to test themselves on a new stage,” Bezbatchenko said. “There are a whole host of opportunities, but this is also for the fans and the city.

“Showcasing Columbus is really important and we’ll see how far we go,” he said.

All of us know how special the cup run was last year which resulted in the Crew hoisting a third MLS Cup. The opportunity for the Club to go on another cup run at Field and win a first Concacaf Champions Cup continues tonight. Join us for a memorable night.

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