Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
NASL Roundup: Rowdies sign second former No. 1 SuperDraft    
First they signed Freddy Adu, Now, the Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed Omar Salgado, giving them ...
MLS All-Star Game averages 833,000 viewers    
Wednesday's AT&T MLS All-Star Game drew 548,000 viewers for Fox Sports 1's first broadcast of the ...
What They're Saying: Hugo Perez    
"I hereby thank the Salvadoran people for their support in regards to the position of national-team ...
ICYMI | MLS: Drogba gets a rock-star greeting in Montreal    
Hundreds of fans turned out to welcome Didier Drogba to Montreal. Philly's new signing, Tranquillo Barnetta, ...
U.S. Abroad: Torres absent from Copa Libertadores final    
After starting both legs of the semifinals, Jose Torres did not play for Mexico's Tigres in ...
MLS honors Rothenberg with legacy award    
MLS founder Alan Rothenberg was named the first recipient of an award that will bear his ...
What They're Saying: Prince Ali    
"[Michel] Platini is not good for FIFA, Football's fans and players deserve better. FIFA is engulfed ...
MLS All-Star Game Takeaways: Kaka carries All-Stars    
Brazilian star Kaka says he grew up and loved watching U.S. all-star games. He finally got ...
ICYMI MLS: Penedo leaves Galaxy, Barnetta goes to Philly    
It looks like Donovan Ricketts could be on his way back to L.A. in the aftermath ...
Video Pick: Lloyd golazo ups goal streak to seven games    
If there is one lesson NWSL opponents should have learned from the Women's World Cup, it's ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives