The Rayados from Monterrey, from Mexico, with a goal in injury time from the forward Jose Alfonso Alvarado, they got this Wednesday an important 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew, of the MLS, in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the Champions League of the Concacaf.
When everyone was thinking about the 2-1 victory of the Columbus Crew, it was Alvarado’s goal ‘in extremis’ that had entered the second half.
Although the Rayados de Monterrey scored 0-1 in the 9th minute with Ivorian coast forward Aké Lobe and went into halftime with the advantage, Columbus had owned the ball and created the best scoring opportunities.
But the strategy of the Rayados coach, Javier Aguirre, of leaving the position of the ball to the current MLS champion and closing well behind, paid off until the tying goal arrived at the 65th minute in a controversial play. that had been preceded by a foul by Argentine Lucas Zelarayán or by having the ball gone over the baseline.
None of this was seen by the referee and the lineman and Zelarayán made a cross with the recovered ball that in the rebound in a Monterrey defender reached the feet of his compatriot, the defender Milton Valenzuela, and then the Portuguese Pedro Santos finished off perfect to beat to the goalkeeper of the Rayados Alberto Cárdenas and put the 1-1.
The goal did justice to what was happening on the pitch and the Columbus Crew believed that they were playing better football than their rival who they overwhelmed so that the VAR and bad luck prevented them from taking the lead on the scoreboard.
Something that they achieved through the mediation of former Tigres Zelarayán, who finished off the ball that defender Harrison Afful put into the area on the fly, and beat Cárdenas, who could do nothing to avoid the 2-1 when the minute was up. 87.
The goal of Zelarayán, the most outstanding player of the current MLS champion, also did justice to the work and football put in by the Columbus Crew that dominated throughout the second half.
But the move by Alvarado was missing, the 21-year-old striker who received an exceptional pass from Colombian Dorlan Pabón to put a perfect ball overhead and beat the Columbus Crew defense and goalkeeper Room with a header, which can be worth the go to the semifinals.
Alvarado and Pabón had entered the second half among the five changes Aguirre made, which in the end was the one that won the strategy over the Columbus Crew coach, Caleb Porter, who was limited to making only three.
The winner of the tie between Columbus Crew and Monterrey will face the winner of the one played by Toronto, of the MLS, against Cruz Azul, of the MX League, with an advantage for the Mexican team of 1-3 achieved in the first leg .
The second leg will be played next Wednesday, May 5, at the BBVA Stadium in Monterrey (Mexico).
– Data sheet:
2. Columbus Crew: Eloy Room; Harrison Afful, Josh Williams, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela (d.91, Waylon Francis); Artur, Darlington Nagbe; Luis Díaz Espinoza (d.86, Alexander Matan), Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos; Gyazi Zardes (d.67, Bradley Wright-Phillips).
Coach: Caleb Porter.
2. Monterrey: Luis Alberto Cárdenas; Miguel Layún, Axel Grijalba (m.79, José Alvarado), Adrián Mora (m.79, César Montes), Sebastián Vegas, Jesus Gallardo; Aké Arnaud Loba (m.79, Dorlan Pabón), Matías Kranevitter, Jonathan González (m.55, Celso Ortiz), Avilés Hurtado (m.57, Carlos Alberto Rodríguez); Rogelio Funes Mori.
Coach: Javier Aguirre.
Goals: 0-1, m.9: Ake Lobe. 1-1, m.65: Pedro Santos. 2-1, m.87: Lucas Zelarayán. 2-2, m.93: José Alfonso Alvarado.
Referee: Juan Gabriel Calderón (Costa Rica). He admonished Zelarayán, Zardes and Mora.
Incidents: Concacaf Champions League quarter-final first leg, played at Historic Crew Stadium, Columbus (Ohio, USA).