It took Club America some time, but in the end, they were able to cruise to a 4-0 victory in their first match of the Quarterfinals against Panamanian Tauro FC. Joe Corona scored from a marvelous long range shot to put the Aguilas in front, but were lucky to not get leveled in the final play of the half. Manager Miguel Herrera was forced to sub on Oribe Peralta, Mateus Uribe and Cecilio Dominguez in the second, and las Aguilas were able to essentially seal their place in the Semifinals of the competition.
America’s crushing victory against Saprissa had the team with a strong sense of security as they played the first leg at the Azteca. “Piojo” Herrera once again rotated his squad and left players like Jeremy Menez, Peralta, Dominguez and Uribe on the bench.
From the start, America took control of the ball against a Tauro team that sat back. After a corner kick, Joe Corona was allowed to open the scoring with a long range bomb. The goal was wonderful and it came following the first truly dangerous chance for las Águilas.
After the goal, America kept the control of the game but didn’t produce much. Andres Ibarguen, who was hoping to finally have an important performance for his new team, looked to be the most dangerous player and had a free kick saved by the Tauro goalkeeper.
Then in the final minutes of the half, Augustin Marchesin went way off his line and was lobbed by a Tauro player. Marchesin was able to get back and save the ball off the line in a controversial play that some people saw cross the goal line.
The second half had Tauro take more control of the match, and America had their worst moment of the night. The lackluster play promoted Miguel Herrera to call on his bench, and he took out the totally ineffective Darwin Quintero amnd defender Carlos Vargas for Oribe Peralta and Mateus Uribe. America not only regained control but actually looked dangerous for the first time.
A cross by Ibarguen was headed in by Henry Martin for the 2-0. The forward who had slowed down after a hot start in Liga MX was finally able to get in the scoring sheet.
Herrera took the opportunity to seal a semifinal spot and sent in Cecilio Dominguez. Dominguez immediately started creating great plays and then scored the 3-0. A
merica had complete control of the game. Peralta had a great combination play that gave Ibarguen the opportunity to score for America and settle the game at 4-0.
America cruised to a victory that everybody was expecting prior to the game. The Estadio Azteca is a strong fortress, especially for teams of inferior leagues (in relation to Liga MX) like Panama’s league. Still, it might be a little worrying that America didn’t really show their stuff until they sent in their best players to help the situation and until the Tauro players finally gave up physically because of the altitude. America, though, will really benefit from the time off for the second leg, where they are expected to rest their starters in order to see if they can regain the Liga MX top spot that they lost on Saturday.