CONCACAF Champions League: Puerto Rico falls in penalties

CONCACAF Champions League: Puerto Rico falls in penalties

Mexican Soccer

CONCACAF Champions League: Puerto Rico falls in penalties

Bill Gaudette (Reuters)   

The Puerto Rico Islanders had a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League final in range, but let the chance slip away.

Leading Cruz Azul by two goals on aggregate, the USL-1 club had to love its chances when Cruz Azul had midfielder Christian Riveros sent off in the first half, but much like fellow USL-1 club Montreal did in the quarterfinals, the Islanders crumbled under the pressure of the Mexican club.

Cruz Azul scored a goal in each half, first from Pablo Zeballos and then the equalizer from Javier Orozco, before eliminating Puerto Rico in penalty kicks.

The defeat ends a dream run through the Champions League for a Puerto Rico side few would have given a chance to advance past the group stage, let alone come within penalty kicks of reaching the final. The Islanders' performance, as well as that of Montreal, brought well-deserved respect to the USL, which has more people interested in it than ever before.

What did you think of Puerto Rico's tournament run? Did you come away with a new-found respect for the USL? Think the Islanders should have pulled out a win vs. Cruz Azul? Think USL teams can repeat their success in the next CONCACAF Champions League Tournament?

Share your thoughts below.

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