Cruz Azul and Real Salt Lake are the first teams into the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals after impressive wins on Tuesday.
Cruz scored a 5-1 aggregate win over Santos Laguna on Tuesday but the victory came at a cost with goal ace Christian Gimenez sent off in the 64th minute after picking up his second yellow card in the match.
Gimenez, who scored Cruz’s second goal on the night in their 3-1 quarter-final win, will now miss the first leg of the final four against either Monterrey or Toluca. Monterrey lead the tie 1-0 on aggregate.
Cruz sealed their third successive semi-final place with three goals in 16 minutes against a Santos side who had dominated possession and had most of the early chances.
The visitors picked up a crucial early goal to make it 3-0 on aggregate when Emanuel Villa scored on a counter-strike in the 37th minute.
After the interval, Villa scored his second in the 51st minute and assisted Gimenez in the 53rd minute to effectively end the tie. Villa has now scored nine goals in the tournament.
Gimenez, who has scored three goals in the CCL, was their top scorer in 2010 with 20 goals in 36 matches.
After Gimenez was sent off, Santos pulled a goal back with Cristian Benitez scoring in the 71st minute. Benitez was able to slot home a shot that had cannoned off the far post and went directly to him.
Real Salt Lake beat Columbus 4-1 to storm into semi-finals where they will play either Saprissa or Olimpia.
The tie, which was delicately poised at 0-0 after the first leg, came to life in the 21st minute when Costa Rican striker Alvaro Soborio scored from 13 yards.
Real Salt scored their second in the 36th minute when Javi Morales scored unmarked at the far post from an Andy Williams cross.
Columbus hit back three minutes after half-time through Andres Mendoza.
But the visitors’ hopes were dashed in the 76th minute when Morales scored his second of the match to make the score 3-1.
Seconds before the final whistle, Williams blasted home a free-kick from 20 yards.