Alianza, Antigua GFC tussle to SCCL stalemate

Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League game between host Alianza (white jersey) and Antigua GFC on August 23, 2016, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Mexsport)


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Substitute Mauro Portillo scored shortly after coming into the match, giving Antigua GFC a 1-1 draw at Alianza for the club’s first-ever point in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night at the Estadio Cuscatlan. 

Oscar Guerrero netted for second-place Alianza (0W-2D-0L, 2pts), which remained one point ahead of Antigua (0-1-1, 1) in the Group F standings.

The Guatemalan visitor will host both Alianza and group leader New York Red Bulls (1-1-0, 4) at home to close out the round robin, while the Salvadoran power faces two away matches.

Both sides still have yet earn a victory in the SCCL (six all-time matches combined).

Alianza will also be without Rudy Valencia on September 15 at New York after the winger picked up his second caution in as many matches.

Antigua, meanwhile, lost forward Hessler Archila in first-half stoppage time to an apparent right-leg injury.

Three days after scoring a stoppage-time winner in domestic play, Portillo came on in the 73rd minute with the Coloniales trailing by a goal. Only a minute passed before he got behind Alianza’s defense and appeared to level the match, but he was judged to be offside.

A minute later, Portillo notched a poacher’s goal, tapping home a finish from close range after center back Elmer Abarca failed to clear a dipping cross from the right.

Guerrero had put the Albos ahead 16 minutes earlier on a similar sequence.

Alexander Larin served an out-swinging cross from the left that bounced in front of goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez. As Alvarez failed to control the ball, Guerrero was first to the rebound and poked home his finish from five-yards out.

In a scoreless first half, Antigua came closest to breaking through in the 11th minute, when Agustin Herrera got into space inside the penalty area only to hit the left post.

Walter Excequiel Vazquez had a similar opportunity in the 34th minute for Alianza. His effort, however, lacked the pace or placement to beat Alvarez.