Tigres falls to Plaza Amador, sets up decisive Herediano encounter

Action from the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League match between host Plaza Amador and Tigres (yellow jersey) on September 28, 2016, in Panama City, Panama. (Photo: Mexsport)

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Previously-eliminated Plaza Amador (1W-1D-2L, 4 points) earned a 1-0 win over Tigres in the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday at the Estadio Maracana, preventing the Mexican power from clinching a second straight trip to the quarterfinals.

First-place Tigres (2-0-1, 6 points) can still progress out of Group G with a draw against visiting Herediano (1-1-1, 4) on October 18, while the Costa Rican champion can only advance with a win.

Midfielder Ricauter Barsallo scored the game’s only goal in the 37th minute, when – from just outside the penalty arc – he perfectly struck a bouncing ball on the full-volley past goalkeeper Enrique Palos.

Tigres nearly leveled in the 42nd minute, but Julian Quiñones’ lob over Plaza Amador custodian Eric Hughes crashed off the post.  Fernando Fernandez tried to finish the rebound, only to see defender Algish Dixon clear off the line.

Hughes preserved the shutout in the 65th minute by making a sprawling, fingertip off a long-range effort from substitute Luis Quiñones.  With 10 minutes left in normal time, Hughes made another diving save to thwart Jorge Jonathan Espericueta’s left-footed free kick. 

UANL – now winless in eight of its 10 all-time SCCL away games – became the second Liga MX side to lose in Panama this month.  Local-rival Monterrey fell to Arabe Unido, 2-1, on September 14.