Austin FC made its Concacaf Champions League debut on Tuesday night in the Dominican Republic, but things went everyday but the way that Josh Wolff would’ve hoped for his squad.
Haitian side Violette AC handed Austin FC a heavy 3-0 first leg defeat, thanks to a pair of goals from Miche-Naider Chery and an own goal from Amro Tarek. Austin FC was held to only one shot on goal in the defeat, giving the MLS club plenty to do in next week’s second leg at Q2 Stadium.
Violette held its own in the early going and benefitted by scoring an opening goal in the 13th minute. Chery rose highest in the box, heading home a cross from Roberto Louima past Brad Stuver for a 1-0 lead.
Despite Austin FC’s best spell of possession, Violette AC made the visitors pay by delivering a second goal in similar fashion to its first. Louisa’s overlapping run down the left wing led to another cross in the box and a powerful header from Chery into the top corner.
The Haitian side walked away with a lopsided victory in its first Champions League match since 1994 and will make the trip to Austin next week seeking advancement to the quarterfinals.
Alianza 0, Union 0
The Philadelphia Union did not walk away with a first leg win in El Salvador, but will head back to Subaru Park liking their chances to advance in the competition.
Jim Curtin’s side left Estadio Cascatlan with a goal-less draw against hosts Alianza with a home second leg coming on March 14. Mario Gonzalez made one key save for Alianza while Andre Blake totaled two saves for the Union.
Chris Donovan had three positive looks in the early stages of the match, but was unable to take advantage of them. The former Drexel University product rounded Gonzalez on a breakaway, however fell down before he could try and attempt a shot into an empty net.
Donovan also missed a free header attempt in the box, keeping the score level at 0-0.
The Union’s best chance came in the 58th minute as Joaquin Torres flicked a header towards the far post. However, Gonzalez dove to his right and punched away the Argentine’s effort.
Alianza tried its best to snatch a late winner but were unable to get past a stubborn Union backline.
Tigres 0, Orlando City 0
Pedro Gallese has continued to be a big part of the Orlando City squad and Tuesday’s latest gem from the Peruvian proved to be another example of why the Lions needed to retain him this offseason.
Gallese made an eight-save shutout in the Lions goal-less first leg draw at Liga MX side Tigres. Orlando City will return to Exploria Stadium next week for the second leg showdown.
Tigres had plenty of the possession in the first half with Andre-Pierre Gignac being denied three times in the opening 10 minutes by Gallese. Juan Vigon also tested his luck from long range in the 34th minute, but ended up with a similar outcome to Gignac’s attempts previously.
Gignac’s low drive in the 53rd minute was punched away by Gallese, keeping the Lions level at 0-0.
Both Gignac and Sebastian Cordova were repelled as the match went on, while Facundo Torres had the Lions best look towards goal midway through the half.
Guido Pizarro came off the bench and struck the right post in the dying moments of the match, leaving Tigres frustrated with the final outcome of the match.
Orlando City will be confident returning home, especially after holding the Mexican club at bay for 90 minutes.