Concacaf.com / BELMOPAN, Belize, Wed. Aug. 19, 2015–Goalkeeper Benito Moreira made six saves to help Verdes FC earn an historic point in a 0-0 draw against visiting Queretaro in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) on Tuesday at FFB Stadium.
Queretaro (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) held a 12-5 shot advantage and remained atop the Group C table although it couldn’t find the target in the first-ever SCCL match held on Belize soil. The host had lost both of its previous games in the competition, falling twice to Cruz Azul by the same 6-0 score in 2008/09 preliminary-round play.
Verdes (0W-1D-0L, 1 point) and Panama’s San Francisco (0W-0D-1L, 0 points) will meet on August 26 to complete the first half of the group schedule.
Edgar Benitez missed an early opportunity to put the Mexican side ahead, sending his first-time shot off a cross just wide of the left post in the 16th minute. In the 32nd minute, Mario Osuna got into a good position on the edge of the penalty area, but fired his effort straight at Moreira.
Then in first-half stoppage time, Jaime Gomez Valencia forced Moreira into a more difficult stop with his well-struck effort from the right side of the penalty area, while Sinha dragged the rebound wide of the left post.
After the break, Sinha took a 54th-minute corner kick that teammate Victor Milke reached first, sending a looping header that appeared to be dipping under the crossbar until Morreira leaped back and palmed it over.
Belize international Deon McCaulay had a chance for Verdes in the 84th minute. The 27-year-old forward cut in from the left and fired a low shot that required a lunging stop from UANL goalkeeper Edgar Hernandez.
Queretaro’s Ricardo Razo Reyes had one final chance for the Gallos Blancos in second-half stoppage time, only to blaze his volley over the crossbar from the left corner of the 6-yard box.
(Ed. Note: Actually, Verdes FC travels to Queretaro, Mexico on September 17. Queretaro, meanwhile, will go to Panama for their return match with San Francisco on August 26. Queretaro defeated San Francisco, 2-0, in their first meeting on August 4. Verdes will host San Francisco at the FFB Stadium on September 22; then visits Panama for the return match on October 22.)