Image via ligamx.net
Montreal Impact earned a 2-2 draw in the first-leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final tie against Pachuca on Tuesday night.
Dilly Duka scored twice before Heriberto Olvera and Ariel Nahuelpan leveled for the hosts in the second half.
Montreal’s away goals gives them hope, although Pachuca remain favorites to progress ahead of next Tuesday’s second-leg clash.
Montreal Impact came into the game on the back of two weeks of preparation in Hidalgo, and they had the first clear chance of the game when Victor Cabrera headed right at Oscar Perez from a Justin Mapp corner.
The Canadians took a surprising 25th minute lead when Dilly Duka weaved his way into the edge of the box before placing a shot into the bottom corner Oscar Perez’s net.
Despite lacking possession, the Impact kept the pressure on, and in the 39th minute Duka forced a good save out of Perez after a Justin Mapp free-kick.
Eight minutes after the break, Pachuca’s problems worsened as Montreal Impact doubled their lead. Justin Mapp blasted an effort at goal, which Perez who was unable to hold. Duka reacted and finished from close range to make things 2-0.
But Tuzos’ response arrived three minutes later when Heriberto Olvera tucked in a free-kick from the right-hand side to get Pachuca within one.
In the 68th minute, Hirving Lozano worked a dangerous cross into the box. Evan Bush got a hand, but the ball deflected into Ariel Nahuelpan’s stomach and into the net for Pachuca’s equalizer.
The game turned rusty in the closing stages and tempers soon began to fray.
At the final whistle, however, both teams settled for a 2-2 draw, with the Impact taking two important away goals into the second-leg.