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Club América oust Houston Dynamo on penalties in Leagues Cup

MLS: Leagues Cup-Club America at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Club América rode their luck to eliminate the Houston Dynamo 6-5 on penalties and advance to the Semifinals of the Leagues Cup.

The game had been largely well-played from both sides, but it was the Houston Dynamo who had the better first half. After a solitary play from Roger Martinez early in the match, the Houston Dynamo came closest to grabbing the lead, first through Alberth Elis and then through Michael Salazar.

In the second half, an early free-kick from Emanuel Aguilera woke up the half’s proceedings before Micahel Salazar once again came close to scoring, forcing Agustin Marchesin to a last-ditch save off a breakaway opportunity.

Nico Castillo then created one of América’s better opportunities by having a dangerous free-kick denied by Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis.

In the 57th minute, Miguel Herrera brought on Giovani dos Santos to boost the América attack, and 15 minutes into his debut, the 30-year-old combined with Nico Castillo and Nicolas Benedetti, who slotted the ball into the back of the net to give Las Águilas the lead.

América should have wrapped up the game moments later when Giovani dos Santos failed to connect properly with a Mateus Uribe through ball.

Just as América were holding out well for the final minutes of the match, Paul Aguilas was caught out of his defensive duties, and former Puebla defender DaMarcus Beasley was there to score the equalizer and force the game to penalties.

Once in the penalty shootout, Las Águilas had a chance to win it with their fifth penalty, but Roger Martinez’s spot kick went well wide of the target.

Both teams then went on to score their next penalty before Samuel Junqua missed his for the Houston Dynamo.

And so, with the last kick of the game, Giovani dos Santos scored to send América through to the Semifinals of the competition.

Next, América will take on Tigres in the Semifinals after the Felinos beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 in one of the other Quarterfinals.