Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Islanders' dream run ends
by Ridge Mahoney, April 8th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Even in defeat, Puerto Rico put its mark on the Concacaf Champions League competition.

The USL-1 Islanders succumbed to Cruz Azul Tuesday night on penalty kicks, 4-2, after taking Los Cementeros to extra time in the second leg.

Despite going down to 10 men when Christian Riveros slid wildly into Puerto Rico goalie Bill Gaudette in the 35th minute and was sent off by referee Paul Ward, Cruz Azul had forced extra time by winning 2-0 in regulation with goals by Pablo Zeballos in the 44th minute and Javier Orozco's equalizer in the 85th to tie the aggregate, 2-2.

Early in the first extra session, Sandy Gbandi -- who has scored Puerto Rico's first goal in the first leg -- belted home a long-range blast to restore a one-goal aggregate edge (3-2) to the Islanders, who soon conceded an equalizer when Cesar Villaluz controlled a bouncing cross and nodded the ball over Gaudette from a tight angle.

Under rules adopted by Concacaf for the competition, away goals scored in extra time do not apply as tiebreakers, unlike those scored in regulation, of which each team plays the same amount of time -- 90 minutes-- at home and away.

Gaudette, who finished 120 minutes of play with 16 saves, held off Cruz Azul in the second overtime despite taking a heavy hit when Edgar Andrade slid hard into him as the keeper charged out to smother the ball. Though he finished the match limping, Gaudette nearly saved several of Cruz Azul's penalties. He got his hands to the first shot by Zeballos but could only deflect it into the side netting.

Captain Noah Delgado hit the post with Puerto Rico's second kick to give the advantage to Cruz Azul. Edgar Lugo shot too high with the Mexican team leading, 3-2, but John Krause squandered a chance to tie it up when he skied his shot badly. Orozco drilled his shot over Gaudette's shoulder into the roof of the net to end the courageous Puerto Rico run that included a 3-1 win over Santos Laguna of Mexico in the group stage and a 3-1 aggregate triumph over CD Marathon of Honduras in the quarterfinals.

Cruz Azul advances to a two-leg Concacaf final that will be an all-Mexican showdown. Santos Laguna leads Atlante, 2-1, heading into the second leg of their semifinal series Wednesday in Cancun. The finals are scheduled to be played April 22 in Mexico City and April 29 in either Cancun or Torreon.

If Santos Laguna advances, the Concacaf Champions League finals will be a rematch of the Mexican League's Clausura 2008 finals last spring, in which Santos beat Cruz Azul, 3-2, on aggregate.

April 7 in Mexico City
Cruz Azul 3 Puerto Rico Islanders 1. Goals: Zeballos 44, Orozco 85, Villaluz 91; Gbandi 98.
Cruz Azul -- Blanco, Pinto, Dominguez, Beltran, Chavez (Andrade, 51), Torrado, Riveros, Lozano (Villaluz, 61), Lugo, Zeballos, Landin (Orozco, 66).
Puerto Rico -- Gaudette, Jones, Henry, Arrieta, Marcelin (Mediate, 66), Delgado, Hansen (Jagdeosingh, 57), Veris, Gbandi, Krause, Addlery (Villegas, 74).
Referee: Paul Ward.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. under-17 men's national team roster    
U.S. head coach under-17 men's national team Richie Williams has named a 20-player roster for the ...
Business Reporter: Union teams up with Dogfish Head    
The Philadelphia Union will open a new destination beer garden with Dogfish Head Brewery at PPL ...
Columbus switches USL PRO affiliations    
The Columbus Crew will team up with the Austin Aztex to send players from its first ...
Lee Nguyen: Sitting back is not in Revs' DNA    
The New England Revolution tied an MLS record when it scored nine goals in its first ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Valcke    
"It is easy to destroy a reputation, it takes one second, it takes years to build ...
Champions League scenarios: 11 teams for five spots    
Eleven teams have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League, and 11 more teams, ...
Video Pick: Bend it like Uesato    
Our favorite free kick goal of the week comes from J-League 2, where Consadole Sapporo's Kazumasa ...
Breaking down the NCAA Division I women's quarterfinals    
The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the quarterfinals with three games on Friday and ...
A back-heel sombrero from Greek boy     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Greek youth soccer, in a game between AO Ioannina and Agia Eleousa, delivers ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"Obviously they must be very sad with the result but when we lose against a team ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives