Tigres UANL Goals: Vargas 90+2'
New York City FC fell to a Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal first leg suckerpunch at the hands of Tigres UANL, losing to Eduardo Vargas's 92nd minute winning goal.
City had dominated the first 90' of the two-legged tie but were unable to take one of their numerous good opportunities to score and were undone by a late rebound, leaving work to do in the second leg in Mexico on Tuesday.
Head Coach Ronny Deila made two changes from the lineup which took to the field at BMO Field on Saturday, with Keaton Parks and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in for Maxi Moralez and Jesus Medina.
Taking on regular tournament finalists, NYCFC were slight underdogs in the eyes of many in the buildup, but they flew out of the blocks in the first leg creating chances from the jump.
A fired-up NYC created numerous clear chances to score in the first 45’, with the first arriving in the opening five minutes when Alex Callens almost scored in his third-successive Champions League match, instead firing just over the bar from a corner.
More opportunities fell for Alex Ring, Alexandru Mitriță and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi but they came up against a Tigres goalkeeper in Nahuel Guzman in excellent form.
Héber had another chance to work the Argentine stopper in the final minutes of the half and he was once again equal to the side footed shot after NYCFC’s no.9 found space to strike from Ring’s service.
Goalless at the break, Deila’s men picked up where they left off in the second half, forcing chances which they were unfortunately unable to take.
Héber went close again three minutes after the restart when Anton Tinnerholm found him with a cutback but the Brazilian’s shot from close range was blocked and he was replaced after a lively showing by Taty Castellanos on 64’.
Jesus Medina and Maxi Moralez followed their fellow South American forward into the game shortly after in place of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Keaton Parks as Deila shook up his attack in search of the go-ahead goal the team’s play had warranted.
Mitriță came close to providing a moment of inspiration on 77’ when he weaved into the area through a sea of defenders but his final touch just evaded the goal and the danger was cleared.
Sean Johnson had a quieter night than many expected but he stayed focused and came up big for his team once again on 86’, tipping over a deflected shot which was goalbound.
More late pressure ensued and it was Vargas who found the night’s only goal in stoppage-time, latching onto a loose ball in the box after Johnson had made another save.
The NYCFC defenders claimed offside but the goal stood, meaning City will have work to do in the second leg.
How We Lined Up
Please Note: Major League Soccer has suspended match play for 30 days, effective immediately, as the league continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials. At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events. Additionally, Concacaf has announced the suspension of the 2020 Scotiabank Champions League due to COVID-19. NYCFC will continue to be in close contact with fans and issue further Club statements on NYCFC.com and Club social channels.