By: BoriQa | February 26th, 2009
“Marathon to celebrate in the Enchanted Island” was the headline in a Honduran news site earlier today, before the game. “There is a loose monster in the famous Enchanted Island, stalking, dangerous, going after everything…” or something foolish like that, read the Spanish article. Of course it was refering to the Green Monster, the nickname of the CD Marathon from Honduras, who was seeking for the Puerto Rico Islanders to “eat” and “destroy” them… Well, nobody told that Honduran green thing that there was also loose in Puerto Rico a misterious Island Sasquatch called the Chupacabras (goat sucker) that eats green iguanas for breakfast!
And as it happened the Green Monster went into Juan Ramon Loubriel stadium, in Bayamón, to “eat” Islanders, and instead ended up knocked down 2-1 by the locals as the Islanders rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal match.
Nicholas Addlery and Kendall Jagdeosingh scored within the last quarter of the match to rally Puerto Rico to a 2-1 victory. Marathon had a 1-0 lead at halftime thanks to an Islander defense lapse that allowed Jerry Palacios to open up the score in the 41st minute. Oscar Bonilla launched a long cross into the penalty area that eluded the Puerto Rican goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, and Palacios, who was left unmarked by Nigel Henry, redirected the ball inside the post with his left calf.
The rusty Islanders looked rusty indeed… Otherwise they may have defeated the infamous Marathon 4-1 or worse. The same Green Monster that took first place in the “Group of Death”, over Mexico’s Cruz Azul, Costa Rica’s Saprissa and the MLS’ DC United.
By far Puerto Rico had the better of play for much of the game. With 3 corner kicks within the first 10 minutes of the game (10 overall) and completely outshooting Marathon (18-11), the score gap could have been wider. But the Islanders looked frustrated by their poor finishing early in the game, and only seemed to pick up after forward Kendall Jagdeosingh was substituted into the game early in the 2nd half.
Marathon is not dead yet. But like in a Rocky Balboa movie, the favourite was knocked down; and against all odds, the ultimate underdog is still very much alive. The Islanders Cinderella story continues…