Houston, We Have an Advantage: 2-0!
HOUSTON, March 5th.- The UANL Tigres put on a superb performance in Texas, bringing home a 2-0 advantage over Houston Dynamo and taking a major step forward towards the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal.
In front of the more than 12 thousand Incomparable fans who had invaded the BBVA Compass Stadium, Enner Valencia and Julián Quiñones, who was named player of the match, scored the goals that they will bring to the second leg of the series at home.
There wasn’t much excitement in front of either goal during the first 45 minutes, with Tigres in control of possession and Houston attempting to put pressure on Nahuel Guzmán’s net from both flanks.
Four minutes in, Eduardo Vargas’ powerful shot outside the box was too high, going over the crossbar, even though the Chilean footballer usually succeeds in this type of shots.
Beforehand, Albert Elis had nearly caused an upset to the right of Nahuel’s goal, but the Argentinian’s excellent placement put an end to this opportunity.
Then, at 15’, Vargas fought for and won a ball inside the opponent’s territory, crossed to his left where Enner Valencia passed back to the Chilean, but the ball went too far ahead inside the box.
Valencia’s header at minute 28 went into the Texan keeper’s hands.
A few minutes later, at 33’, in our side’s best offensive play, a one-two between Luis Rodríguez and Valencia left Chaka to cross and come close, but the defense intercepted and cleared his shot.
Towards the end of the first half, Elis created a chance for his side, when he was about to shoot, inside the box, but Jorge Torres Nilo intervened.
In the second half, Tigres was clearly seeking to maintain possession, while putting the pressure on the opponent’s net. At 47’, Rafael de Souza crossed into the box, nearly provoking an own goal.
Afterwards, at minute 55, an unmarked Julián Quiñones received the ball, broke into the box , but his shot went over the bar.
A minute later, taking advantage of a ball Vargas lost as he came out from the back, Mauro Manotas attempted to score, but his shot missed to the left of Nahuel’s goal.
At that point, our manager Ricardo Ferretti made his first substitution, replacing an injured Torres Nilo with Guido Pizarro at 62’, placing the latter in the center and moving Jesús Dueñas to the flank.
Enner had the best chance so far in the match when, at minute 71, he broke away unmarked, penetrated the box, but the goalkeeper blocked his shot.
Then, at 73’, Enner leapt inside the box, but was unable to head the ball in, missing what seemed to be a surefire opportunity.
Finally, third time lucky, Julián Quiñones received from the right and crossed to the center of the box where Enner finishes and scores. The team’s hard-fought 1-0 became a reality to the delight of the over 12 thousand Incomparable fans who had invaded Houston.
Later, at 81’, Julián Quiñones received a long pass, controlled, shook off his mark and, with a powerful shot, put the ball into the upper-right corner, which brought the score to 2-0 and the fans in the stands to their feet, gleefully crying “Tigres, Tigres”..
In the end, the opponent’s attempts to shorten the difference remained somewhat ineffective, leaving Tigres with a two-goal advantage, ready for next Tuesday when they hope to define their qualification to the Semifinal.
HOUSTON: 23 Joseph Willis; 2 Alejandro Fuenmayor, 7 Damarcus Beasley, 9 Mauro Manotas (21 Ronaldo Peña 86’), 11 Thomas McNamara, 15 Maynor Figueroa, 17 Alberth Elis, 20 Aj Delagarza, 22 Matías Vera, 27 Boniek García and 31 Romell Quioto (14 Marlon Hairston 67’).
MGR.: WILMER CABRERA
TIGRES: 1 Nahuel Guzmán; 4 Hugo Ayala, 5 Rafael de Souza (3 Carlos Salcedo 88’), 6 Jorge Torres Nilo (Guido Pizarro 62’), 9 Eduardo Vargas, 13 Enner Valencia (16 Damián Torres 91’), 21 Francisco Meza, 26 Luis Quiñones, 28 Luis Rodríguez, 29 Jesús Dueñas and 33 Julián Quiñones.
MGR.: RICARDO FERRETTI
0-1 (78’) Julián Quiñones receives a long pass and crosses to Enner Valencia who scores.
0-2 (81’) Julián Quiñones receives a long pass, controls, shakes off a defender and shoots into the upper-right corner.
HOUSTON: Alberth Elis (63’)
TIGRES: Jorge Torres Nilo (61’), Luis Rodríguez (86’) and Eduardo Vargas (92’).
REFEREE: Iván Cisneros (SLV)
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 1: David Moran (SLV)
ASSISTANT REFEREE No. 2: Joseph Bertrand (TRI)
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Oshane Nation (JAM)