Lisbon: American midfielder Tyler Adams, who came on as a substitute, scored an 88th-minute winner that gave RB Leipzig a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the 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.
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 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, who 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 August 23.