SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Panama’s Tauro has reached the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF League with a 2-1 round-of-16 victory on aggregate over Honduran club Real España.
Tauro, which won last week’s first leg 1-0, advanced to the tournament’s final eight by securing a 1-1 draw Thursday night at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula.
Real España needed to win by a two-goal margin to pull off the victory but found itself down 2-0 on aggregate when Tauro’s Armando Polo received a pass from the left side and scored on a left-footed shot in the eighth minute.
The shot traveled out of the reach of goalie Roberto Lopez and just inside the far upright.
Facing the daunting task of trying to score three goals, the hosts started controlling possession and mounting an all-out attack, and that led to a shot attempt by Mario Martinez in the 28th minute that went wide of the post.
Tauro net minder Oscar McFarlane then made his presence felt toward the end of the first half, making a series of saves between the 33rd and 42nd minutes.
But in the 44th minute, his attempt to clear a corner kick ricocheted off Real España defender Cesar Oseguera and into the back of the net.
The hosts, who made two changes aimed at further boosting their attack at the start of the second half, nearly got a second goal at the 46-minute mark on a header by Jhow Benavidez.
Both teams then had goal-scoring opportunities over the next half-hour.
Polo, Tauro’s main offensive weapon, had a chance in the 52nd minute but pulled his shot wide of the post, while a pair of shots hit the crossbar – one by Real España’s Martinez in the 55th minute and a second by Polo on a counter-attack five minutes later.
But Tauro took control of the game when Martinez was sent off in the 74th minute for a second yellow card.
Next up for Tauro in the CONCACAF League quarterfinals will be Nicaraguan club Walter Ferretti, which this week edged Martinique’s Club Franciscain in a penalty shootout after those teams were tied 1-1 on aggregate following Wednesday’s second leg.
The 2018 CONCACAF League is a regional club competition, with the winners qualifying for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.
CONCACAF is the soccer confederation of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.