Necaxa, America land 2-2 draw
Club America and Necaxa tied 2-2 Sunday afternoon at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas in the last group game in InterLiga 2005, eliminating both teams from the tournament.
The first half began with sporadic chances for both teams fought in the midfield, in which Elias Luiz Dos Reis of Necaxa won an impressive number of balls as he looked to link up with his teammate forward Alfredo Moreno.
America, led by Pavel Pardo in the midfield, sought to control the ball and send it on to forward Kleber Boas, who attempted to stretch the Necaxa defense.
The Cotton Bowl, filled with the largest amount of fans it had seen in a long time, was home to a crowd who mainly pulled for America. The crowd was passionate and vocal despite the absence of its favorite and America star Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who did not play due to an injury he picked up in the last match.
After a first half with few strong goal scoring opportunities, the first goal of the game came ten minutes into the second half as Necaxa's Alfredo Moreno gave his team a 1-0 lead. In the 55th minute Moreno capitalized on a cross from the left side and snuck past the America defense. Moreno managed to get his chest on the ball as he got open at the second post.
America answered back ten minutes in the 65th minute as America captain Pardo tied the game up with a strong right foot shot from well outside the area. Goalkeeper Ivan Vazquez dove but could do little stop the blast.
The teams battled on and in the 71st minute, Necax put themselves ahead thanks to a goal by striker Sandro Sotilli. Sotilli, who had come close earlier in the game, connected with a cross by Rodolfo Espinoza from the left flank..
America knew it needed a goal if its hopes to go to Houston for the final were still alive and in the 90th minute, the Mexico City club managed to tie the game. The goal came from a strong individual play by the Brazilian Kleber who collected the ball at the top of the area before beating one defender and finding the back of the net with a strong shot to the keeper's right side.
Referee Kevin Terry added four minutes of extra time and despite the efforts of both teams, the game ended tied 2-2. The result forced America to await the result of the second game to find out if they were to travel to Houston for the finals or back to Mexico.
InterLiga Player of the Game: Alfredo Moreno (Necaxa)
America vs. Necaxa - InterLiga 2005
Sunday, January 9, 2005 - Cotton Bowl - Dallas, Texas
16:00 (local time)
NEX - A. Moreno 55'
AME - P. Pardo 65'
NEX - S. Sotilli 71'
AME - K. Boas 90+
AME- G. Ochoa, J.A Castro, R. Rojas,D. Davino, O. Rojas, G. Villa, M. Pérez (R. Valenzuela al 46´), F. Torres (J. Mendoza al 80´), K. Boas y 7 C. López. D.T M. Carrillo
NEC- I. Vázquez, D. Mendoza, M. Acosta, I. Velázquez, C. González, J. Rodríguez (D. D. Hernández al 46´), F. Pereira, E. Rey (D. Martínez al 46´), R. Espinoza, A. Moreno (S. Cabrera al 86´) y S. Sotilli. DT R. Arias
Necaxa: 16 C. González al 21´; 17 F. Pereira al 79´
América: 16 R. Rojas al 23´; 18 G. Villa al 60´; 3 J.A. Castro al 74´
Arbitro Central: Kevin Terry (USA)
Asistentes: George Gansner (USA); Kermit Quisenberry (USA)
Cuarto Oficial: Mark Geiger (USA)