Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World 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
Europe in a Nutshell: Bayern clinches while world watches EPL     
Andrea Pirlo looks good losing; Watford's reality TV promotion; Champions League tidbits. Plus, why an insignificant ...
USL: Four unbeaten teams all triumph    
The Rochester Rhinos extended their unbeaten run to six matches with a 2-0 victory against the ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"I think boring is 10 years without a title -- that's boring. If you support a ...
U.S. Paralympic team prepping for world championship     
Coach Stuart Sharp has named a 16-player roster for the U.S. Paralympic national team's April 29-May ...
MLS Week 8: Altidore breaks out with two golazos    
Jozy Altidore scored his first two goals since opening with two goals in his debut with ...
Video Pick: Wonderful solo golazo from Down Under     
A 28-year-old striker who plays for Australia's Adelaide United might find himself a candidate for FIFA ...
U.S. Abroad: Johnson's assist hands Bayern title    
Alejandro Bedoya scored his third goal of the season in Nantes' 1-1 tie at Toulouse, and ...
USL: Richmond and Louisville remain unbeaten    
Richmond and Louisville City both remained unbeaten with shutout wins on Saturday. The Kickers defeated FC ...
NWSL: Press makes it four goals in two games    
Abby Wambach is sitting out the season. Alex Morgan has yet to play as she rests ...
NASL: Sellouts and Tsiskaridze bomb highlight weekend play    
There were sellouts at Indy Eleven (10,524), Minnesota United (9,233) and Atlanta (5,511) for a trio ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives