The two Mexican teams claimed results according to form in the other CONCACAF Champions' Cup matches on Wednesday. In Honduras, Pumas UNAM came away with a 1-1 draw against CD Olimpia, while CF Monterrey defeated CSD Municipal of Guatemala 2-1 at home despite playing a man down for nearly an hour.
Pumas come back to claim draw
Two-time Mexican champion Pumas UNAM rescued a vital late draw against Honduran side CD Olimpia in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal in Tegucigalpa.
Wilson Palacios gave the home side shortly after the halftime break, but after Olimpia defender Henry Thomas was sent off for an intentional handball in the penalty area, Diego Alonzo took advantage from the penalty spot to pull Pumas level.
Both teams struggled to put together flowing soccer before a crowd of better than 25,000, hampered by the poor state of the field at the Estadio Nacional in the Honduras capital.
Then three minutes after the start of the second half, Olimpia sent the crowd into rapture after Palacios beat center back Dario Veron in the right-inside channel, played a quick 1-2 with Walter Lopez and hammered the return pass low between the near post and goalkeeper Sergio Bernal.
But then nine minutes from full time, Alonso's shot was blocked by Thomas with his hand in the penalty area, and Guatemalan referee Carlos Batres had no choice but to send off the Olimpia defender and point to the spot. Alonzo stepped up to take his own penalty, sending a powerful shot low and to his left as Olimpia 'keeper Ricardo James dove the other way.
"It was a difficult game but the correct result," said Pumas coach Hugo Sanchez. " ... We came to win. I was concentrated on my team and made the necessary adjustments to justify the actions on the field. Nevertheless, Pumas had a great rival in Olimpia."
Olimpia coach Nahun Espinoza said his team "marked poorly, but the game didn't have a clear winner."
"We were imprecise on the field, although we made a great effort to hold onto the ball in the opposing half ... we'll have to try and win in Mexico because I'm conscious that we have to give more."
Pumas: Sergio Bernal, Israel Castro, Joaquín Beltrán, Darío Verón, Gonzalo Pineda, Gerardo Galindo, Fernando Espinosa (José Luis López 46), Ismael Iñiguez, Jaime Lozano, Joaquín Botero (Hugo Sánchez Portugal 89), Bruno Marioni (Diego Alonso 68)
Olimpia: Ricardo James, Flavio Ulloa, Mario Beata, Wilson Palacios, Rony Morales, Hendry Thomas, José Luis Pineda (Elmer Marín 78), Danilo Tosello (Juan Manuel Cárcamo 66), Danilo Turcios, Wilmer Velásquez, Walter López
Referee: Carlos Batres (GUA)
Ten-man Monterrey holds on for 2-1 win
A 10-man Monterrey held onto a lead built over the opening 45 minutes and defeated CSD Municipal of Guatemala 2-1 in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal series, played at the Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey on Wednesday night.
Ricardo Martinez gave the home side the lead after just five minutes, then Pablo Rotchen doubled it for the Rayados after 43 minutes, after Jose Joel Gonzalez had been sent off. But Municipal could pull just one goal back, scored by Victor Muller in the 71st minute.
Kevin Stott of the USA presided over an ill-tempered match, handing out a dozen cautions in addition to the red card shown to Gonzalez in the 35th minute.
Monterrey opened the scoring when Martinez hit a powerful free kick from all of 25 yards, beating Municipal goalkeeper Leonardo Diaz in the upper corner and leaving him no chance to stop the blast.
The Mexican side then doubled their advantage just before the break, when a shot from the left by Walter Erviti was parried by Diaz, but Rotchen slipped in from the right to knock home the rebound.
Muller pulled a goal for Municipal under similar circumstances. He took advantage of a shot saved by Monterrey 'keeper Juan de Dios Ibarra from Juan Carlos Plata, after a quick combination with Carlos Figueroa.
Despite playing more than a half with a man advantage, Monterrey should have increased their advantage. Diaz saved Municipal on three occasions, turning aside shots from Sergio Perez, Erviti and Carlos Casartelli in the 39th, 47th and 49th minutes respectively.
Plata had a glorious opportunity to give the Guatemalan a valuable equalizer away from home, but after he was left all alone in front of goal he sent a weak shot straight at Ibarra, who easily saved.
Monterrey: Juan de Dios Ibarra, Paulo Serafín, Joel Morales, Pierre Ibarra (Pablo Rotchen 23), Ismael Rodríguez (Hugo Meléndez 12), José Joel González, Luis Ernesto Pérez, Walter Erviti, Ricardo Martínez, Carlos Casartelli, Sergio Pérez (Argemiro Veiga 65).
Municipal: Leonardo Díaz, Germán Ruano, Pablo Melgar, Selvin Ponciano, Jacinto Zorrilla, Julio Girón, Gonzálo Romero, Claudio Albizuris, Carlos Figueroa (Javier Cappelletti 86), Víctor Müller (Mario Acevedo 77), Juan Carlos Plata.
Referee: Kevin Stott (USA).
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.