Latin America

FOX Soccer Exclusive

Puerto Rico eliminated with Cruz Azul defeat

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MEXICO CITY -- The Puerto Rico Islanders saw their chances of advancing to the CONCACAF Champions Leaguequarterfinals a second straight year end in a 2-0 defeat to Cruz Azul. In the midst of a USL-1 playoff run and facing a difficult task mathematically in the CONCACAF Champions League, Puerto Rico sent a squad with numerous reserves on the pitch Tuesday evening in Mexico and were eliminated. Forward Josh Hansen had an early chance from long range four minutes into the contest fly wide of the target The Islanders fell behind two minutes later when Joel Hiqui and Alejandro Vela worked the ball up the left flank with Hiqui sending the ball into the box, where Mario Ortiz collected it, eluded a tackle and slotted the ball past back-up netminder Justin Myers from eight yards. Kendall Jagdeosingh put a chance at an equalizer over the crossbar in the 28th. Mexican Apertura scoring leader Emmanuel Villa doubled the lead for Cruz Azul six minutes into the second half, heading an excellent cross to the far post into the upper corner from the edge of the six. Two minutes later a good stop from Myers kept the hosts from increasing the lead to three. The Islanders wrap up group play October 20 at home against the Columbus Crew, who drew at home Tuesday evening 1-1 against Saprissa. Puerto Rico could be in a role of spoiler as Columbus needs a point to clinch the second spot out of the group.

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