MONTERREY, Mexico – Less than 12 months have passed since his gaffe against Argentina cost the Mexican national team any hope of advancing in the 2010 World Cup.
Once again on Wednesday night, Mexican national team and Monterrey veteran left back Ricardo Osorio (above right) was left having to explain a costly defensive error to a throng of media members following los Rayados' 2-2 tie with RSL in the first leg of the Champions League finals.
This time, the goal that resulted from his failed clearance could prevent his team from getting a chance at world glory. And once again, the play favored an Argentine.
“These are things that happen in soccer,” Osorio said of his error after the match.
With Monterrey seeking to add to their 2-1 lead with just one minute remaining in regulation, Osorio was pressured by RSL second-half substitute Arturo Alvarez, who succeeded in winning the ball from the World Cup defender.
“I wanted to clear it,” Osorio said of the play. “But [Alvarez] succeeded in touching it with the tip of is foot. The ball goes up in the air and as a result they get the ball to the other player.”
That other player is RSL’s Argentine playmaker, who usually knows exactly what to do with the ball once it comes his way. Morales collected it at the top of the box and danced into the right side of the area, finding the hole to drill a right-footed shot into the low left corner.
[inline_node:334448]WATCH: Full match highlights [CONCACAF.com]
It was a dramatic second away goal for RSL at the death to even up the aggregate-goal series.
“They’re a very good team that have players that can define a match and that’s what happened,” Osorio said of RSL. “These are players that touch the ball well and the truth is that they did very good work.”
The Monterrey fullback, unlike his manager Víctor Manuel Vucetich, dished out some praise for what the MLS side was able to accomplish at the Estadio Tecnológico. RSL registered just the fourth tie in 25 all-time matches (0-21-4) played by MLS teams in Mexico. No MLS team has ever won South of the Border in meaningful competition.
“It was a tight game and in the first half we were surprised,” Osorio said. “They played really good soccer. They had several attacks, but more than anything due to our carelessness.”
But the Mexican club will not only have those errors to worry about fixing ahead of its trip to Rio Tinto Stadium for the second leg on April 27. There’s the fact that they now have a penchant for giving up late goals. Last weekend they conceded a stoppage-time penalty kick to Monarcas Morelia for a 1-1 tie in league play.
And that’s not even speaking about RSL’s 37-match unbeaten streak at home.
“You have to leave these stats to the side,” Osorio said. “If we want to be champions, I think we can’t really take statistics into account. If we can come out and can push the game, just like we did today, I would be happy.”