Posted on August 23, 2012
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica – Talk about cutting it close.
Luis Valle tallied six seconds into second-half injury time to boost Alajuelense to a 2-2 Group 6 tie with Tigres in a CONCACAF Champions League match on Wednesday night.
Valle’s 25-yard goal came off a fortunate bounce after Cristopher Menese’s shot deflected off teammate Walter Chevez. The ball bounded across the top of the penalty area, where Valle settled and struck a right-footed drive that sailed between the right post and diving goalkeeper Aaron Fernandez.
The draw preserved Alajuelense’s unbeaten record at home in the CCL after five games.
Tigres (1-0-1, four points) remained atop the group, three better than Alajuelense and four more than Real Esteli.
Tigres appeared headed for a win after Manuel Viniegra headed in a free kick in the 58th minute.
Both teams had early chances as Alajuelense went ahead after Diego Calvo entered the game in the 19th minute. Calvo replaced Kevin Sancho, who injured his left instep, collapsing to the turf without colliding with anyone in front of the goal. He needed to be carried off on a stretcher.
Calvo, a 21-year-old midfielder, found the ball at his feet after a several ricochets before striking a right-footed, arcing drive that bent over Fernandez’s outstretched arm.
Tigres, which used a relatively young lineup, with only two players from the Starting XI from a 2-1 defeat to Tijuana last Friday, started to attack down the right flank.
Alan Pulido, whose shot was blocked by goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton in the 27th minute, helped set up the equalizer 14 minutes later. He managed to get a heel touch to Fernando Navarro’s rightw-ing cross. The ball deflected off Liga defender Cristian Oviedo and dropped on the six-yard box on the right side, where Alonso Zamora slotted the ball home into an empty net.
Viniegra, one of Tigres’ two starters from Friday, lifted his team into the lead off of Alberto Acosta’s free kick on the left side. Viniegra ran onto the ball and headed it past Pemberton from just outside the six.
For its next CCL encounter, Alajuelense will visit Nicaragua to face Esteli on Tuesday. Tigres will do the same on Sept. 18.
Categories: Central America, Champions League, Costa Rica, Mexico, North America
Tags: Alajuelense, Alan Pulido, CONCACAF Champions League, Diego Calvo, Luis Valle, Manuel Viniiegra, Tiges, Walter Chevez