PANAMA CITY, Panama – Not only is Plaza Amador goalkeeper Eric Hughes good at stopping shots, he can score off them as well.
The 31-year-old custodian was one of the Leones’ heroes on Wednesday night, when they beat visiting Portmore United, 1-0, in the second leg of their 2017 Scotiabank CONCACAF League Round of 16 series, which ended level 1-1 on aggregate.
Matters were settled by penalty kicks, with Hughes netting the winner, as the Panamanian power advanced to quarterfinals (agg: 1-1, 5-4 pens).
“I had a hunch with Hughes,” said Plaza Amador head coach Jair Palacios. “I knew that he would stop penalties and score his own.”
It was a happy ending to a difficult night for the host.
While Hughes was solid in keeping a clean sheet, Portmore United netminder Shaven Sean Paul was equally as impressive.
It wasn’t until the 75th minute that Plaza Amador finally broke through thanks to a Valentin Pimentel strike. Still, Palacios was frustrated that his team was not able to convert more of its chances.
“We wasted a lot of goals,” he commented.
Plaza Amador will travel to Nicaragua to open its quarterfinal pairing against Walter Ferretti on August 11.