New York City FC has made team history by advancing to the Concacaf Champions League semifinals for the first time ever.
But the Major League Soccer side is not celebrating. After reaching the second leg of the quarter finals series against Guatemalan team Comunicaciones with a 3-1 advantage, NYCFC crumbled under pressure.
The Cityzens saw a successful first 45 minutes with goals from Taty Castellanos and Talles Magno, before suffering the late collapse. In the last 21 minutes, Comunicaciones managed three goals to level the global score to 5-5, but NYCFC held on to advance on away goals.
“I think it was a really good learning lesson for how to act in these kind of games when you need to defend and suffer and get through things. We did things that we should have done better, but we learned something without getting any consequences and that's really good, "NYCFC head coach Ronny Deila said."
“In the end, we got scared. You have to be more brave in this kind of situation. As I said, there was a young team and I'm very, very happy that we get that kind of experience without getting any consequences out of it."
Despite the landmark achievement by New York City, players echoed Deila’s somber tone.
“It's hard to celebrate. If you were there in a changing room, it was very quiet because we are all professionals and even if we get qualification losing the game, we never get happy about that,” defender Maxime Chanot said.
“I think it’s going to give us a little bit [of a] good lesson. Maybe a bit more humility for the next leg.”
The reigning MLS Cup champions will now face either the Seattle Sounders or Club Leon in the semifinals.