The Vancouver Whitecaps kept hope alive in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Liga MX club Tigres UANL on Wednesday, but could not complete the comeback as Tigres won 2-1 at BC Place, with Tigres winning the series 4-1 on aggregate.
The Whitecaps narrowed the aggregate deficit just three minutes in, as Brek Shea turned in a rebound off a set piece to make it 1-0 for the game. And while they held steady for an hour, the hosts could not find a goal to tie up the series and Andre-Pierre Gignac’s tally in the second half essentially iced the semifinal for the Mexican side, with Damian Alvarez adding an insurance tally late.
- UPS AND DOWNS FOR SHEA: The quick goal was just what the doctor ordered for the Whitecaps, and clearly boosted their game into the halftime break. But it turned out to be the only shot for the team of the half, and Shea was forced out of the game by the 10th minute with an injury. Would his wild card qualities have given Vancouver more looks at goal? We’ll never know, but it was certainly a bitter blow for the hosts.
- TIGRES SEEK GLORY: It will be an all-Liga MX CCL final for the second consecutive year, with Tigres reaching the final also for a second straight tournament. They lost the last one, and will be looking to add to their trophy cabinet when they face Pachuca this time around. Tigres have probably the most stacked team in North America, and Pachuca are in better form in domestic play at the moment. That said, their experience and general excellence the Monterrey-based club have had under Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti makes Tigres the favorite coming into the final.
- FRESH SLATE: CCL can be a double-edged sword, it must be said, and while the Whitecaps will be disappointed they couldn’t reach the final, they can now turn their undivided attention to the MLS regular season. They’re currently in eighth place in the Western Conference standings, with four points from four games. There’s obviously plenty of time ahead in the season to make a push up the table, and now Carl Robinson’s squad can work on getting into top form in league play after a pretty impressive second CCL campaign in club history.