Tuesday, September 29, 2009
MEXICO CITY — In the midst of a USL-1 playoff run and facing a difficult task mathematically in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Puerto Rico Islanders sent a squad with numerous reserves on the pitch Tuesday evening in Mexico and saw their chances of advancing to the Quarterfinals a second straight year end in a 2-0 defeat to Cruz Azul.
Forward Josh Hansen had an early chance from long range four minutes into the contest fly wide of the target
The Islanders fell behind two minutes later when Joel Hiqui and Alejandro Vela worked the ball up the left flank with Hiqui sending the ball into the box, where Mario Ortiz collected it, eluded a tackle and slotted the ball past back-up netminder Justin Myers from eight yards.
Kendall Jagdeosingh put a chance at an equalizer over the crossbar in the 28th.
Mexican Apertura scoring leader Emmanuel Villa doubled the lead for Cruz Azul six minutes into the second half, heading an excellent cross to the far post into the upper corner from the edge of the six.
Two minutes later a good stop from Myers kept the hosts from increasing the lead to three.
The Islanders wrap up group play October 20 at home against the Columbus Crew, who drew at home Tuesday evening 1-1 against Saprissa. Puerto Rico could be in a role of spoiler as Columbus needs a point to clinch the second spot out of the group.