The second leg of Real Salt Lake’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals matchup with Tigres UANL on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium couldn’t have started any better.
But despite a 22nd-minute goal from Joao Plata, converting a Yura Movsisyan cross on a sliding attempt to cut Tigres’ aggregate lead to 2-1 – following the Liga MX side’s 2-0 victory last week in Mexico – RSL were unable to find the equalizer despite plenty of chances before Tigres' André-Pierre Gignac sealed it with a stoppage-time goal.
It all means Tigres advance to the semifinals with a 3-1 aggregate victory and that no MLS team will be represented in the final four after Seattle, LA and D.C. United all were previously eliminated in the other three quarterfinal matchups.
22’ – RSL – Joao Plata (Yura Movsisyan)
90+1' – TIG – André-Pierre Gignac (Israel Jiménez)
- CHANCES GALORE: The biggest chance to the tie the series that went by the wayside for RSL came in the 74th minute when Javier Morales stepped up to the spot and had his stutter-step penalty kick attempt saved by Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman. But that wasn’t the only missed opportunity. In the 55th minute, Movsisyan was presented with a point-blank look on goal when a Sunny header fell to him outside the left post, but his attempt drew woodwork. In all, RSL outshot Tigres 12-4 (4-1 on goal).
- TOE-TO-TOE: Despite Tigres, one of the top teams in Liga MX, trotting out their big guns even with a 2-0 cushion after the first leg, RSL acquitted themselves very well despite the draw and ultimate series loss. They had the opposition on their heals most of the game and limited Tigres’ potent attack of Lucas Zelarayan, Jurgen Damm, Javier Aquino and Gignac to just two shots.
- NOT THIS YEAR: RSL and their fans will have to continue to wait to see a repeat of the success the club had in the 2010-11 CCL tournament when they advanced to the finals.
Final: RSL 1, Tigres 1. RSL's dream of another deep Champions League run ends. Morales' PK attempt will haunt him for a while. APG seals it.— Chris Kamrani (@chriskamrani) March 3, 2016
- RSL: Sunday at Orlando City SC (2 pm ET, MLS LIVE)