Pumas lost a two-goal lead through Juan Dinenno and, with two penalty kicks, Seattle Sounders drew 2-2 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final, a result that was a triumph for the U.S. team.
Although they were in doubt, Juan Dinenno and Leonel Lpez appeared in Andrs Lillini‘s starting lineup in the match that was played at the start under a torrential rain and a packed Estadio Olmpico Universitario.
Pumas was the first to create danger, at minute 21 with a header by Efran Velarde and five minutes later with a shot by Rogerio after an individual play that goalkeeper Stefan Frei managed to deflect.
Dinenno missed a penalty, retaken and gave Pumas the lead
The pressure was on Pumas and the reward came with a penalty after a foul on Dinenno, who shot powerfully, but Frei made a great save. The VAR came into action and noted that the goalkeeper was ahead of the kick, so it was repeated and Dinenno fooled the goalkeeper to make it 1-0, at minute 37.
Seattle reacted and Alan Mozo got injured
The fans in Ciudad Universitaria exploded, but Seattle also reacted, even Pumas was saved in the last play. The bad news for the Mexican club was the injury to Alan Mozo, who had to come off with a knee injury.
Dinenno extended the lead
Pumas started better in the second half, now without rain, and Jess Rivas, who had come on in place of Mozo, sent a precise service to Dinenno, who rose in the area to connect a solid header, impossible for Frei, to make it 2-0 at minute 48.
Seattle reacted and closed the gap
Despite the two-goal deficit, Seattle Sounders did not stop fighting and came very close to closing the gap, but Alfredo Talavera, in a big way, deflected a shot by Ral Ruidaz that was already being called a goal.
Control of the ball belonged to the U.S. team, who had their big chance when a penalty was awarded in their favor. After reviewing it in the VAR and confirming it,
Nicols Lodeiro took it perfectly, as Talavera guessed it, but could not prevent the goal in the 76th minute.
Seattle tied it at the end with another penalty kick
After the goal, Seattle seemed content and tried to keep the ball in their possession, while Pumas looked more for another goal with grit than ideas, but it didn’t come. In the final moments came another controversial play that was reviewed by the VAR, a penalty was awarded and Lodeiro scored the goal that leaves the title series open.
On May 4, Pumas will pay a visit to the Seattle Sounders, a match that will define the champion of the Concacaf Champions League.