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Venegas grabs winner for Saprissa as Tigres begin CCL with defeat

Tigres UANL v Cruz Azul - Torneo Clausura 2019 Liga MX Photo by Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Johan Venegas scored off a corner kick in the 73rd minute to earn Deportivo Saprissa a 1-0 win over Tigres in their First Leg match of the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16.

The first half was mostly controlled by the visitors, with Israel Jimenez and Javier Aquino both forcing early saves from Saprissa goalkeeper Aaron Cruz.

After a series of blocked shots, Tigres had a good case for a penalty in the 33rd minute when a Julián Quiñones shot appeared to be have been blocked by an opposing defender’s hand. Referee Jair Marrufo, however, waved the play on and Tigres’ best chance of grabbing a breakthrough in the first half turned to nothing.

Saprissa then nearly went into the break with the lead after Rubilio Castillo failed to connect properly inside the box from a Christian Bolaños cross.

Both teams exchanged a series of chances to start the second half, with once again Tigres coming closest to breaking the stalemate following clear chances from Javier Aquino and Enner Valencia.

However, it would be Saprissa who would open the scoring in the tie when Venegas leapt to head home a Mariano Torres corner to secure a 1-0 advantage in the scoreline.

Saprissa and Tigres are set to meet again next Tuesday at the Estadio Universitario, with the Felinos needing to win by a minimum score of 2-0 to have any chance of progressing through to the Quarterfinals.