10/29/2008 – PANAMA CITY – Osei Telesford and Fabrice Noel scored first-half goals and Puerto Rico held on for a 2:2 draw with Tauro FC on Wednesday, earing Islanders a place in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
The result puts two teams in the final eight from the United Soccer Leagues, the second division of North American soccer. Last week, the Montreal Impact clinched its place in the two-leg knockout round that begins in February.
Puerto Rico and Tauro both finished with eight points in Group D, but the Islanders beat Tauro 2:1 in the first round and also had more away goals.
The Islanders, who after winning their first two games in the Group Stage, had lost two straight finished winless in their last four. They went ahead in the 16thminute when Telesford nodded in a free kick at the far post after it had been tipped on its way through the penalty area. It was the third goal in the Champions League for Telesford, who scored one goal in 19 games for Puerto Rico in helping it to the USL First Division championship game.
Noel scored his second of the Champions League 13 minutes later, running on to a ball out of midfield from Jonathan Steele, rounding goalkeeper Willington Dominguez and scoring into an open net.
Puerto Rico dominated possession for nearly the entire first half until Brunette Hay converted a penalty kick for Tauro in the 43rd. Hay, who leads Tauro with 11 goals in 15 games this season in the Panamanian league, scored his fourth to climb among the leaders in Champions League and set the tone for the second half.
Tauro began much more quickly and created several dangerous-looking opportunities, pinning Puerto Rico in its own half for much of the first 15 minutes. Puerto Rico was able to regain some possession, but Hay scored his second in the 77th, sending a slow, rolling right-footed shot just inside the far post.
The Panamanian club was forced to replaced Dominguez in the 33rd after he appeared to injure his right wrist making a sliding save in the ninth minute. He received treatment on the field, holding up play for five minutes but gave way to Aimar Alvarado.