WOODY BAUM - Thursday, April 22, 2010
Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca fell to Cruz Azul in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on Wednesday night in Mexico City.
Both teams had to play without key players as Paul Aguilar of Pachuc, and Gerardo Torrado of Cruz Azul were away training with the Mexican National Team.
Jose Francisco Torres, in one of his final opportunities to impress Bob Bradley, was among the starting 11 for Pachuca and played the entire 90 minutes in the Tuzos' midfield.
Cruz Azul was able to take the lead first thanks to the help of Pachuca defender Gregorio Torres who accidently passed the ball to Cruz Azul forward Emanuel Villa.
Villa received the errant pass and had only Pachuca keeper Miguel Calero to beat, putting it through on Calero's left side to give the home team the advantage in the 19th minute.
Four minutes later in the 23rd minute, Cruz Azul was again aided by a Pachuca defender when Gerardo Rodríguez accidently knocked a cross into his own goal to put Pachuca down by two.
Despite being behind, Pachuca outplayed Cruz Azul for much of the encounter, controlling the ball and creating better chances.
Torres had several opportunities but his shots sailed high.
However, in the 68th minute, Damien Alvarez brought Pachuca to within one when Cruz Azul had a terrible clearance intercepted by Alvarez in the left side of the area, who then shot it past Cruz Azul netminder Jesus Corona.
Pachuca's chances looked better shortly thereafter in the 78th minute when Julio Cesar Dominguez fouled Torres at midfield and was sent off.
Despite being up a man, Pachuca was unable to convert and would fall behind in the series.
However the Tuzos were able to achieving the coveted away goal, something that they will take with them when the host Cruz Azul again next week in Hidalgo.