Club America blanks Tigres 2-0 in opener [VIDEO]

Photo credit: AFP

Photo credit: AFP

Defending champion Club America scored a pair of second half goals to defeat Tigres 2-0 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.

Dario Benedetto scored in the 49th minute and Osvaldo Martinez added an insurance marker three minutes into stoppage time as the Mexican side took a huge step towards defending their title with a victory on the road at Estadio Universitario.

The second leg will be hosted by Club America in Mexico City next Wednesday.

The victory puts Club America in the driver’s seat heading into game number two as they also increased their SCCL unbeaten streak to 12 games.

Tigres had more shots on goal (6-1) and corner kicks (7-1) but they failed to capitalize on their chances as Club America were able to clamp down defensively when needed.

One of Tigres best chances in the first half came in the 33rd minute when Javier Aquino got in alone on goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez, but sailed a blast high over the crossbar.

Club America’s hard work paid off early in the second half when Benedetto opened the scoring by finishing off a pretty passing play.

Oribe Peralta back-heeled a nifty pass to Martinez who floated a cross to the back post where Benedetto was waiting for the easy tap-in header.

It marked the first SCCL goal for Benedetto since he posted a hat-trick in last year’s final — a 4-2 second-leg win over the host Impact de Montreal.

Martinez sealed the victory in the third minute of extra time by rifling a right-footed blast to the near post and past a diving Nahuel Guzman who had no chance on the play. It was Martinez’s first goal of the competition.

Club America thought it had also scored in the 57th minute as Guzman raced 50 yards out of his net and fouled Peralta.

Club America recovered the ball and scored into the empty net, but the officials disallowed it because of an offside.

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