2/26/2009 – BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — Nicholas Addlery and second-half substitute Kendall Jagdeosingh both scored in the final 16 minutes and rallied the Puerto Rico Islanders to a 2-1 victory with CD Marathon in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on Thursday.
Addlery, one of two offensive acquisitions in the offseason to compensate for the loss of fowards Taiwo Atieno and Fabrice Noel, knocked a chipped ball from Jonathan Steele over the head of goalkeeper Juan Obelar in the 74th minute.
Seven minutes later, Singh, who replaced Pablo Nunez in the 57th minute, dribbled in from the left side before touching the ball to his right and striking a ball that deflected off defender Milton Palacios past goalkeeper Juan Obelar.
The goals were a reward for Puerto Rico, which the better of play for much of the game but was frustrated by poor finishing early.
Marathon, unbeaten in five games at home and sitting atop the Honduran Clausura standings, will host the second leg of the series on Wednesday. The Green Monster has scored 16 goals in the Honduran campaign, twice as many as the next closest team.
«We have to start the first half (in Honduras) like we ended this second half,» Jagdeosingh said. «We have to not get too swelled of a head. We need to keep doing what we were doing.»
Jerry Palacios gave Marathon the lead in the 41st, capitalizing on a defensive lapse. Oscar Bonilla launched a long cross into the penalty area that eluded goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, and Palacios, who was left unmarked by Nigel Henry, redirected the ball inside the post with his left calf.
Jerry Palacios, who leads Marathon with four goals in the Honduran league, had two chances in three minutes after Puerto Rico had the better of play in the first half.
Despite not having played a competitive match in nearly four months since the end of the Group Stage, Puerto Rico earned three corner kicks in the first 10 minutes, including shots by Petter Villegas and Noah Delgado that Obelar had to dive with his right hand to knock away.
«It’s what the team has been planning for for all off-season,» Jagdeosingh said. «It was just like when we left last season’.»
Puerto Rico, which like fellow quarterfinalist the Montreal Impact, play in the United Soccer Leagues’ First Division, essentially the second tier of North American pro soccer. Montreal won the first leg of its quarterfinal on Wednesday, beating Santos Laguna 2-0.
«In the end, I think it came down to who wanted it more,» Jagdeosingh said. «And in the second half, we showed that.» The winner of the quarterfinal series will face either Pumas or Cruz Azul.