The first half of the duel corresponding to the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League semifinal was characterized by Mauro Lainez's arm with his rival's face.
In an unusual scene on the soccer fields, Philadelphia Union defender Olivier Mbaizo lost a tooth during the contest for a ball, during the game against the Águilas del América, on the Azteca Stadium field. It was the 24th minute when Mauro Lainez tried to gain possession and beat his marker's career. However, a slap led to the spectacular play.
The semifinal duel of the Concacaf Champions League started at 9:00 p.m. in Mexico City, and weather conditions prevented the visiting players from showing their best physical form. In that sense, the disputes for the ball, such as Lainez and Mbaizo, were favorable for the locals.
In the play of the incident, the fast American midfielder ran after service to get closer to the goal. However, the Philadelphia defender closely pursued his career, so to prevent the advance of his rival, Lainez extended his right arm to the side, said the movement had a quick contact with Mbaizo's face. Moments later, his tooth flew out. The player was lying down for a few moments.
Although his teammates came to assess their teammate's state of health and showed the central referee the tooth, he did not show the American player any warning card. They also did not resort to the VAR to review the actions in detail. As a result, the judge determined that the match should continue on its usual course. The player was able to continue participating in the game for a few minutes.
The player decided to try his luck for a few minutes. However, in a later play, he made known his discomfort after the slap of Mauro Lainez, and coach Jim Curtin chose to remove him from the field of play. Defender Alvas Powell took his place. So far, the MLS team has not issued any statement disclosing the severity of the blow.
Although Philadelphia is one of the best clubs in Major League Soccer (MLS), they could not deploy their best soccer version due to the height and the rainy conditions that hit the capital. On the contrary, the Eagles of Santiago Solari enjoyed great superiority during much of the game. They reflected it on the scoreboard from the first minutes.
The first goal of the match came at minute 17 thanks to a set-piece. After Sebastián Córdova tried a direct shot at the goal from a free-kick, he crashed it with the defensive wall of Philadelphia. The rebound was timely, as the second player outlined to collect the play was able to take a powerful shot in the direction of the goal. Richard Sánchez's ball bounced off Daniel Gazdag's back before fooling the keeper and embedding itself in the plan.
With the game's dominance consolidated, the Americanists relied on the second score to secure the game. However, it did not arrive until the 80th minute, thanks to a foul on Roger Martínez inside the rival area. The person in charge of scoring the second target was defender Emmanuel Aguilera, since Sebastián Córdova, who shone during the Olympic Games with a couple of goals from the penalty spot, had already left the game.
With the advantage of two goals and having hung zero in the first leg, America will have favoritism in the second leg on the Philadelphia Union court. In case of scoring a goal, the rivals would be forced to do it four times, so Santiago Solari's team almost has one foot in the final of the Concacaf Champions League.