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CONCACAF Champions League to return on December 15

NYCFC will get their chance at revenge against Tigres in the intercontinental competition this winter

SOCCER: FEB 26 Concacaf Champions League - AD San Carlos at New York City FC Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Almost eight months after the competition was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CONCACAF has announced the return of the Champions League!

In an official announcement released on Tuesday, CONCACAF has confirmed that the CCL will return beginning on December 15. To help prevent COVID-19 from hampering the tournament, the remainder of tournament will be played in a centralized location.

All quarterfinal games that had their first game played will have a second leg, while all future rounds will be held in a single-elimination format. The quarterfinals will be held on December 15 and December 16. The semifinals and CCL Final will be held on December 19 and December 22, respectively.

At the time when the CCL was temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, New York City FC had just lost their quarterfinal home leg 1-0 to Mexican club Tigres. Should NYCFC win the second leg 1-0, the game will be decided on penalties due to CONCACAF deciding contests on away goals in the case of a tiebreaker. The winner of the NYCFC-Tigres fixture will play against either CD Olimpica or the Montreal Impact in the semifinal.

In the first leg — a day I can still recall quite vividly — NYCFC outmatched Tigres throughout the first half and constantly threatened goal, but were unable to grab the go-ahead tally. As the game became more wide open in the second half, Tigres gained momentum before tapping in a late go-ahead goal at the death. CONCACAF using a bubble to decide the second leg of the tie could play in City’s favor with them avoiding the trip down to Mexico.

Despite struggling early on, NYCFC have rallied since MLS’s restart and have risen to fifth in the Eastern Conference table with a chance to advance into fourth on Decision Day. Meanwhile, Tigres have remained consistent since Liga MX’s comeback and currently sit at 6th in Mexico’s top flight, though they are still in striking distance of 3rd with one final league game to play.