Lions bow out of Concacaf Champions League after 1-1 draw against Tigres

Orlando City SC played to a 1-1 draw against Tigres UANL at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday night. After a 0-0 draw at Estadio Universitario last week, the lone Tigres goal sees the Liga MX side advance to the Quarterfinals due to Concacaf’s away goals-scored tiebreaker.

The Tigres took the early lead with Jesus Alberto Angulo lofting a ball into the box from the right flank, finding Sebastian Cordova, who was able to control it with his chest before firing a left-footed shot just inside the near post. The Lions leveled the match after a headed attempt from City defender Rodrigo Schlegel was saved off the line by a Tigres defender. As the ball floated in the air, Ercan Kara turned his body, left his feet, and connected with a bicycle kick, sending it past a diving Nahuel Guzman and into the back of the net. 

The Lions looked to make a late rally, as forward Ercan Kara came on as a second-half substitute and scored with an impressive bicycle kick from just outside the six-yard box in the 90th minute. However, the comeback came up just short for the Lions as the match finished at 1-1. 

"We are proud of the effort that we showed in the game. Obviously, emotions are there as it is much better to wait and calm down and other things. The message was short, just expressing our pride for the effort that they made during the game. They played against a good rival, and we were there," said Lions Head Coach Oscar Pareja. "We will go on, but we were upset as well. I know the players were upset with what had happened in the last seven minutes. Obviously, we are not bad losers. We are respectful, but we are not stupid. Congratulations to Tigres, it is a Club that I respect a lot, but we played hard." 

Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese continued his impressive form in between the sticks for City, making seven crucial saves on the night, including three inside the first 20 minutes of the match and a pair late in the game to keep the Lions in contention. Gallese has only allowed two goals through the Club’s first five matches to begin the year.  

Information provided by Orlando City Soccer Club.