GUADALAJARA, Mexico (Tuesday, April 3, 2007) -- CD Guadalajara benefited from goalkeeper Troy Perkins' grievous error, which allowed Gonzalo Pineda to net the decisive tally from distance in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over D.C. United in the second leg of a CONCACAF Champions Cup semifinal at Estadio Jalisco.
Defensive miscues led to United's downfall and erased a beautiful bicycle-kick goal by midfielder Jaime Moreno
CD Guadalajara, popularly known as Chivas, of Mexico's Primera Division, advanced to the championship match by beating Major League Soccer's United 3-2 on aggregate. MLS's Houston Dynamo, which won its home leg 2-0, visits the Primera Division's Pachuca CF Thursday to complete the other semifinal series.
In the 52nd minute, Pineda was the recipient of a Francisco Javier Rodriguez's back-heeled back-pass and he laced a shot from 30 yards out. The ball sailed at the last moment and Perkins -- perhaps indecisive as to whether to catch the ball or tip it over the crossbar -- had it carom off his fingertips before settling into the right corner of the net for the 2-1 lead.
Perkins made diving saves to deny point-blank shots in each half and made a sprawling stop of a shot in the closing moments, but he will be remembered for the mistake that turned the series.
A defensive breakdown led to Chivas' pulling even at 1-1 in the 42nd minute. Ramon Morales sent a ball in the air from the midfield stripe down a vacant left flank to Alberto Medina, who caught United defender Facundo Erpen upfield and raced past him. Alone, he caught up to the bouncing ball in the left side of the penalty area, cut to the side of the six-yard and cut the ball back to wide-open striker Adolfo Baustista.
Bautista buried his seven-yard shot into the right center of the net, just beyond the reach of Perkins, who was trying to recover from guarding the near post from a shot by Medina. United center back Bobby Boswell had lost the mark on Bautista, possibly indecisive about whether to come over and tackle Medina. He wound up in no-man's land.
"We missed an opportunity," United coach Tom Soehn told The Washington Post. "The goal that really hurt us was the one right before the half. It would have been nice to have a lead at the half."
Moreno put United ahead 1-0 in the 36th minute. He played a ball down the left side to forward Luciano Emilio, who carried the ball into the top corner of the box and cut inside. With the goalkeeper racing foolishly out, Emilio centered to Moreno who, with his back to the goal, popped the ball in the air and then went horizontal to bicycle the ball into the unattended net before a defender could retreat.
Chivas defender Francisco Javier Rodríguez went flying into the net in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the shot.
United dictated the game's tempo for most of the first half, but momentum swung the other way to Chivas as it benefited from its American rivals' mistakes.
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