By: BoriQa | from Mexico City | April 8th, 2009
It’s a sad ending to a great story. A team puts the Islanders out of the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL).
Cruz Azul lead the Islanders 2-0 after 90 minutes to tie the aggregate, even though they were a man down for the last 59 minutes of regular time, to send the series into overtime.
One minute into overtime the magical moment arrived, Sandy Gbandi scored a golazo to put the Islanders up 3-2 in the aggregate, once again giving the Puerto Rico fans one of those Cinderella story moments that have delighted us throughout their CCL run.
But this time it was not meant to be…
Cruz Azul scored 8 minutes later to tie the aggregate again (3-3) and eventually force the match into the dreaded penalty shots round. Unfortunately, Gbandy’s goal came a minute too late, overtime away goals don’t count double, as they do in regular time.
Just last week the Islanders played a friendly penalty shutout against the Austin Aztex after their 0-0 scrimmage draw. The Islanders didn’t fare well, losing that shootout 3-0.
Last night in the shootout:
– after the 1st Cruz Azul (C.A.) penalty goal, the Islanders equalized
– C.A. scored their 2nd, and Jagdeosingh scored to equalize
– C.A. scored their 3rd, and Noah Delgado hit the right post for a miss, giving C.A. a 3-2 lead
– C.A. missed their 4th shot high, and Krausse also missed over the top bar failing to equalize
– finally C.A. scored their 5th shot to take a 4-2 penalties lead, away from the Islanders’ reach
The Islanders exit the CCL championship race in the semifinals stage, after playing 12 games, with a combined 6-3-3 record (including a 5-0-1 [W-D-L] home record) in the first ever CCL; and left behind four Central American champions in their path: Liga Ajuelense, Tauro FC, Municipal and Marathon.
There is no shame in the Islanders performance in this tournament. The Islanders had a great run, and accomplished more than anyone in the established soccer world expected from them.
We are proud of you!
Go Islanders Go!