Leipzig stun Atlético for CL semi spot

August 14, 2020
RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams scores his side’s second goal during their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match against Atletico Madrid at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, on Thursday.
RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams scores his side’s second goal during their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match against Atletico Madrid at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, on Thursday.

LISBON, Portugal (AP):

For an American not used to scoring, Tyler Adams sure knows how to make a mark in European football.

The midfielder came on as a substitute to score an 88th-minute winner that gave Leipzig a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals on Thursday, sending the German club into the last four of Europe's top competition for the first time.

It was Adams' first goal for the club, and also made him the first American to score in the quarterfinals or later in the Champions League.

"When I came on I wanted to bring energy and help the team in any way possible," Adams said. "Getting your first goal is a little bit unexpected for me. I'm not a typical goal scorer but I'm happy I could help the team."

Adams scored with a shot from outside the area that deflected off a defender, ensuring that Leipzig's surprising European run will continue into the last four.

He could now become only the second American to play in a Champions League semifinal after DaMarcus Beasley appeared for PSV Eindhoven against AC Milan in 2005.

"Today coming into this game I was told I wasn't going to start but I needed to be ready to come off the bench and make an impact," Adams said.

Dani Olmo had opened the scoring for Leipzig in the 51st and Joao Felix equalised for Atletico from the penalty spot in the 71st.

DISAPPOINTING ELIMINATION

The result ended yet another title run for Atletico, which was seen as a big favourite to reach the semifinals but again will endure a disappointing elimination. Diego Simeone's team knocked out defending champion Liverpool in the last 16 and was looking to return to the last four for the first time since 2017, a year after they lost their second final in three seasons.

Leipzig, founded 11 years ago with investment by Red Bull, will next face French league champions Paris Saint-Germain, who eliminated Atalanta in their quarterfinal in Lisbon on Wednesday.

The Champions League is finishing the season amid the coronavirus pandemic with a last eight tournament in Lisbon. The semifinals will be next week and the final will take place on August 23.

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