Tigres finally broke down the “Wall of the Wasatch” at the Estadio Universitario on Wednesday.
Jose Rivas had a goal and an assist as hosts Tigres overcame a solid performance from Real Salt Lake keeper Nick Rimando to win 2-0 in the first leg of the two sides’ CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal.
Jurgen Damm had the other Tigres goal. The second leg is at Rio Tinto on March 2.
It was the third-straight CCL game that saw an MLS side wilt late against Liga MX competition, lending credence to the early season fitness critique of the tournament’s timing.
Aaron Maund took too long to send a ball and saw his clearance deflected into the path of Andre-Pierre Gignac, who opened up too much on his shot and passed wide of the goal.
Olave was booked for tripping Rafael Sobis running down the left in the 14th minute, and Tigres had a free kick from about 23 yards out. The effort was tame.
Gignac missed a third kick at the can in the 30th minute, pushing the ball across the six but wide of the goal.
Tigres was awarded a PK just before halftime, as a header nicked off Kyle Beckerman’s trailing hand. But Nick Rimando scooped up Gignac’s low attempt to keep it scoreless.
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Rimando was back at it early in the second half, getting low to collect Damian Alvarez’s shot.
Olave’s rough night continued when Rivas out-jumped him to head past Rimando, and 20 minutes later he was late to Rivas when the Mexican center back passed across goal to Damm, who needed two kicks to beat the sprawling RSL back line.