WOODY BAUM - Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca fought to a draw with Toluca at Estadio Nemesio Diez on Tuesday night in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal bout.
Torres started and played 66 minutes, drawing a yellow card, and helping the offense by distributing the ball from the back.
Torres also had success marking Antonio "Sinha" Naelson, the Brazililan play maker for Toluca, who was unable to generate any real offense.
The first half started off with both teams feeling each other out and playing lackadaisical.
Pachuca struck first when Daniel Manso threaded a beautiful pass into the area to a streaking and unmarked Dario Cvitanich, who brought the ball down, beat the keeper scored from a very difficult angle.
In the second half, Toluca began to play with more urgency, but Manso continued to threaten with his excellent through passes.
Toluca finally managed to tie the score in the 77th minute off a header by Edgar Dueñas.
In the final minutes of the game, Diego Novaretti and Miguel Almazán, of Tuloca, were sent off.
Although their expulsions did not affect the outcome, it will complicate Toluca's chances in the second leg when they visit Pachuca next Wednesday.