Action from the August 6, 2013, CONCACAF Champions League match between Luis Angel Firpo (white) and visiting Club Tijuana in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Luis Angel Firpo and visiting Club Tijuana opened Group 7 play in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) with a scoreless draw on Tuesday night at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
The host, playing its first Champions League match in four years, posted its third straight draw in the competition and now has more ties than wins and losses combined in nine all-time CCL games (2-5-2).
In a first half that saw both sides attempt to establish a rhythm, Tijuana came out in an attacking mood, but the Salvadoran side was solid in defense.
The Xolos generated three scoring opportunities during a seven-minute span in the first half. Pablo Aguilar blazed over the crossbar with only the goalkeeper to beat in 32nd minute. Three minutes later, Fernando Arce blasted a right-footed volley off the left upright, while Paul Arriola forced a save from goalkeeper Dagoberto Portillo.
Firpo tried to catch Tijuana’s defense off guard with counter attacks and shots from outside the box. Early in the second half, captain Dennis Alas’ attempt from 30-yards was off the mark, sailing just wide right.
The insertion of second-half substitute Jeremie Lynch gave the Pamperos a different offensive look, but the Xolos’ defense was quick to respond.
Tijuana, which qualified for the CCL after beating Toluca 4-1 on aggregate in the 2012 Liga MX final last December, will next travel to Honduras to face Victoria in a Week 2 match on Aug. 20.
Firpo return to CCL action on Aug. 28, when it meets Club Tijuana at the Estadio Caliente.