Canada Soccer

Whitecaps FC trail in CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals

Posted on 15 March 2017 in FIFA Club World Cup

Vancouver Whitecaps FC trail 0-2 midway through their 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League semi-final series. The Canadian club conceded twice in the last 25 minutes of the opening leg in Monterrey, but still have the return leg on 5 April with a chance to win at home at BC Place.

Tigres UANL took advantage of a Whitecaps own goal in the 66th minute before doubling their lead on an Eduardo Vargas strike in the 87th minute. The match was played in front of 31,197 fans at Estadio Universitario.

Incidentally, the loss stopped Whitecaps' six-match unbeaten streak in the competition, following five wins and one draw through the group stage and quarter-finals. From 24 clubs that started the 2016-17 competition, Whitecaps FC, Tigres UANL, Pachuca, and FC Dallas are the four remaining teams.

"We'll believe," said Carl Robinson, Vancouver Whitecaps FC's head coach. "Tigres showed tonight they're a top team ... no one will give us a chance on 5 April, but no one gave us a chance today. We must get the first goal in the next game and then we'll see where it goes."

Vancouver Whitecaps FC's starting XI featured David Ousted in goal, Sheanon Williams at right back, Kendall Waston and Tim Parker at centre back, Jordan Harvey at left back, Alphonso Davies, Matias Laba, Andrew Jacobson and Marcel DeJong at midfield, and Brek Shea and Fredy Montero up front.

In the second half, coach Carl Robinson replaced de Jong with Christian Bolanos (56'), Montero with Nicolas Mezquida (64'), and Davies with Cristian Techera (78').

Tigres UANL's starting XI featured Nahuel Guzman in goal, Luis Advincula, Hugo Ayala, Francisco Meza and Jorge Torres across the back, Jurgen Damm, Guido Pizarro, Jesus Duenas and Luis Quinonez in the midfield, and Eduardo Vargas and André-Pierre Gignac up front.

In the second half, coach Ricardo Ferretti replaced Torres with Lucas Zelarayan (46') and Advincula with Ismael Sosa (46').

This marks the third time in nine years that a Canadian club has reached the semi-final stage of CONCACAF Champions League, following in the footsteps of Toronto FC in 2011-12 and Impact Montréal FC in 2014-15. 

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