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Adams sends Leipzig into Champions League semifinals

American midfielder Tyler Adams scored in the 88th minute to give Leipzig a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid on Thursday and send the German club to its first Champions League semifinal.
Adams came off the bench in the second half and 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.
It was Adams' first goal for the club, which he joined last year.
“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.”
Dani Olmo had opened the scoring for Leipzig in the 51st and Joao Felix equalized for Atletico from the penalty spot in the 71st.
The result ended yet another title run for Atletico, which was seen as a big favorite 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 it lost its second final in three seasons.
Leipzig, founded 11 years ago with investment by Red Bull, will next face French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, which eliminated Atalanta in Wednesday’s quarterfinal in Lisbon.
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 Aug. 23.
Making only its second Champions League appearance, Leipzig looked more dangerous than Atletico during most of the match at the Jose Alvalade Stadium. Neither team created many significant chances but Leipzig threatened the most with its quick passing and player movement up front.
Some of that fast action in front of the area led to Olmo’s close-range header after a cross from the right side.
Atletico improved after Portuguese forward Joao Felix came off the bench in the second half, and he equalized from the penalty spot after being fouled inside the area. Felix, a former Benfica star, was playing at the stadium of rival Sporting Lisbon.
Atletico seemed in control after equalizing but couldn’t stop the late breakaway that ended the team’s title hopes again.
Adams, who entered the match in the 72nd, picked up a pass from the left side and sent a low right-footed shot that deflected off Atletico defender Stefan Savic and took goalkeeper Jan Oblak out of action.
Adams joined Leipzig in January 2019 from another club owner by the Red Bull organization, the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.
Leipzig was making its debut in the knockout round after one previous appearance in the group stage of the European competition.


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